Moeller, Meyer in race for 43rd House
From factoids such as history being their favorite school subject to their positions on education and the income tax, it might seem difficult at first glance to pinpoint the differences between the two candidates running for the 43rd House District.
Incumbent Anna Moeller, 42, of Elgin, served on the Elgin City Council for three years before she was appointed to the state legislature in March. She also served as the executive director of the McHenry County Council of Governments for nine years.
Republican challenger Jeffrey Meyer, 32, of Elgin, is an attorney who unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Kane County Board in 2012. He's a precinct committeeman and a past board member for Elgin OCTAVE, a conservative group that advocates fiscal responsibility.
Moeller, whose grandfather was a firefighter, voted in favor of House Bill 5485, which would require municipalities to negotiate staffing size with their firefighters unions. Meyer said he'd have voted against it.
Both candidates say the 2011 income tax increase should be allowed to expire as scheduled Jan. 1. That would, in turn, lead to more money being infused into the economy and job creation, they said.
Both said they believe Senate Bill 1, the pension reform plan signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn in December, will not be upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Meyer says he supports implementing a defined contribution plan for new employees, and giving that option to current employees.
Any solution to the pension problem must include input from teachers while also being fair to taxpayers, Moeller said.
"Right now we spend more on pensions than anything else in the state. It's hard to invest in the economy and grow it," she said.
Illinois should stop bleeding businesses to neighboring states, Meyer said.
"That's all about which state is at competitive advantage, and one thing that employers look at is marginal tax rates," he said.
Moeller said the state's business climate -- such as temporary incentive deals -- is too unpredictable for businesses to make long-term decisions.
Moeller has opted to forego her state representative's pension, and Meyer said he'd do the same if elected.
Both oppose any expansion of gambling, which would further erode the city of Elgin's share of income from Grand Victoria Casino. Both said they especially oppose new video gambling cafes.
Both said they support giving people choices in education. Elgin Area School District U-46 should not have turned down a proposal earlier this summer to create an Elgin Math and Science Academy charter school, they said.
Moeller was involved with the group before her appointment. The charter school group filed an appeal with the state charter commission.
Meyer said German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the current leader who most inspires him, while Moeller pointed to Pope Francis.
The 43rd House District includes Elgin and portions of Carpentersville, East Dundee and South Elgin.