Endorsement: Jesiel in House 61
Two relative newcomers are competing for Illinois House 61 -- Republican state Rep. Sheri Jesiel of Winthrop Harbor, who won the March primary and was appointed in July after the resignation of former Rep. JoAnn Osmond, and Loren Karner, a Zion-Benton High School District 126 trustee and former trustee in Winthrop Harbor Elementary District 1 and in the village of Winthrop Harbor. We endorse Jesiel, whose experience as a retirement plan administrator will come in handy as the legislature continues to grapple with ways to reduce public pension costs. Jesiel favors transitioning to a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new and possibly current state employees while retaining pensions for retirees. She advocates rolling back the state's 2011 temporary income tax increase on Jan. 1 as scheduled and improving the business climate by reforming workers' compensation and streamlining licensing and permitting, saying businesses from the district regularly move across the state line to Wisconsin. Jesiel would leave the minimum wage at its current level, but promotes creating a pathway to higher earnings through job training. She wants to prioritize spending on education and "the truly needy." As a moderate Republican, Jesiel has our backing for Illinois House District 61.