Scott Drury: Candidate Profile

58th State House District (Democrat)

  • Scott Drury, running for 58th State House District

    Scott Drury, running for 58th State House District

 
Updated 10/13/2016 1:12 PM

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioQ&A

 

Bio

City: Highwood

Website: www.scottdrury.org

Twitter: Candidate did not respond.

Facebook: Candidate did not respond.

Office sought:

58th State House District

Age: 43

Family: Married, with two children

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Occupation: Attorney, Adjunct Professor of Law, State Representative

Education: University of California, Berkeley (B.A. - High Honors)

Northwestern University School of Law (J.D. - Cum Laude)

Civic involvement: Illinois State Representative (2012 - present)

Assistant U.S. Attorney (2003-2011)

League of Women Voters - Member

Congregation Solel - Member

Elected offices held: Illinois State Representative - District 58

Questions & Answers

What needs to be done structurally to make the legislature more effective? Will you vote for your current legislative leader? What is your position on term limits in general and specifically for legislative leaders? Do you support the ongoing drive for a constitutional amendment on redistricting? What will you do to promote implementation of any changes you recommend?

A legislature that is more independent of party leaders would be more effective. In order to attain this goal, comprehensive campaign finance reform is needed. It is premature to pontificate about a vote for a legislative leader when the candidates are not yet known. Regardless, through words and actions, I have proven that I am willing to act independently and in the best interests of the residents I represent, regardless of a legislative leader's view on an issue. In general, I support the idea of term limits for elected officials. However, the devil is in the details, and I would need to thoroughly evaluate a specific proposal before reaching a final conclusion. Regarding term limits on legislative leaders, I have repeatedly proposed a constitutional amendment to impose such term limits (most recently, HJRCA 6). Similarly, I proposed an "independent map" amendment (HJRCA 18) early in 2015 (before it became trendy). I will continue to champion and seek bi-partisan support for the issues discussed above.

Would you vote for an increase in state income taxes or sales taxes? Would you vote for new taxes, such as on services? What is your position on a graduated income tax?

For the last two years, neither Governor Rauner nor the Democrats have proposed a truly balanced budget. Every proposal has contained billions more in proposed spending than anticipated revenue. The inability of either party to present a budget that is balanced based on current revenue or proposed spending reductions indicates a shortage of revenue. Due to the lack of fiscal transparency in Illinois, the total amount of Illinois' fiscal hole is not entirely clear. This makes it difficult to specify the specific sources of new revenue or spending reductions that would be sufficient to rectify the problem. In both the 98th and 99th General Assemblies, proposals for a graduated income tax were not called for a vote in the House. The opportunity cost of the push for a graduated income tax has been less focus on solving the immediate fiscal issues confronting Illinois. While it can be good policy to work on long-term solutions to vexing problems, this cannot be done at the expense of working through existing problems.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

What changes, if any, do you support in education and education funding in Illinois? Please be specific.

Every child in Illinois should have access to a quality public education. Presently, this is not the case. While school funding plays a role in the quality of the education delivered to a student, it is not the only factor. As an example, North Shore School District 112 is a well-funded district. Yet, Oak Terrace Elementary School repeatedly fails to make "Adequately Yearly Progress." Thus, while it is important to make sure schools receive adequate funding, it is also important to be cognizant of the fact that money alone will not guaranty quality education. With this in mind, any change to the school funding formula must be focused on improving education, not merely providing additional funding. Further, any change in the formula should not financially benefit certain school districts at the expense of others or result in consequences such as a reduction in critical programs like special education. The goal should be to improve the overall quality of education. Cutting funding to certain school districts is inconsistent with this goal.

On Illinois' budget, specifically, where do you believe cuts need to be made?

For the last two years, neither Governor Rauner nor the Democrats have proposed a truly balanced budget. Every proposal has contained billions more in proposed spending than anticipated revenue. The inability of either party to present a budget that is balanced based on current revenue or proposed spending reductions indicates a shortage of revenue. Due to the lack of fiscal transparency in Illinois, the total amount of Illinois' fiscal hole is not entirely clear. This makes it difficult to pinpoint the total amount of spending reductions and/or new revenue needed. I am committed to working in a bi-partisan manner to find real solutions to Illinois' fiscal woes.

What approach do you support toward fixing the public pension systems?

The Illinois Supreme Court's pension decision does not leave a large opening to address Illinois' excessive pension liability. In an ideal world, a true consideration model - one in which those with pensions could freely negotiate with the state - would seemingly fit within the parameters set by the Supreme Court. A subset of the true consideration model is allowing those with pensions to negotiate for the buyout of their pensions with current dollars. Given that the pension liability is growing, the focus must be on proposals that will not result in years of lengthy litigation with no clear result.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

Illinois must confront the issue of senseless gun violence in a responsible and realistic manner. During my time as a federal prosecutor, my colleagues and I worked closely with state and local governments to remove guns from high crime areas as part of a program called Project Safe Neighborhoods. Studies indicate that the project resulted in decreased gun violence and recidivism. The project took a broad-based approach to the problem - education, law enforcement presence and prosecutions. Illinois' focus should similarly be on a broad-based approach that attacks the problem from different angles.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Joe Maddon

What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

More important than a person agreeing with you on a given topic is earning that person's respect for how you arrived at your decision.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

I am often told that I work too hard. If given a do-over, I would focus on learning to better take advantage of free time.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

History. Understanding history has allowed me to put current political issues in perspective.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

More important than a person agreeing with you on a given topic is earning that person's respect for how you arrived at your decision.