John Bartman: Candidate Profile
63rd State House District (Democrat)
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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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Education: Marian Central Catholic High School ('96)
University of Dayton ('00)
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Elected offices held: n/a
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?
The biggest issue in Springfield is the amount of sour rhetoric being expressed by both sides. Both parties are to blame for the mess and it is going to take both parties to get us out of it. I believe a new face with fresh ideas is imperative for change in Springfield.
I do not support term limits for individual members because the voters have the ability to vote members in or out at any election. That being said, voters do not have a say on who leads the General Assembly, and therefore, I support term limits on leadership.
I do support Jack Frank's bill for redistricting which passed nearly unanimously in the House. It is a great bill which gives both the citizens and office holders a say in the boundaries.
I want to work with both sides of the aisle to help get this state back on track.
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?
I do not support any tax increases. The residents of McHenry County are over taxed and have nearly the highest property tax rates in the nation. As a farmer and a small business owner I am also suffering with this tax burden just like everyone else.
What changes, if any, do you support in education and education funding in Illinois? Please be specific.
I support a change in the structure for funding formula for our school system. Currently the schools in McHenry County receive only 12% of the funding from the state, when the Illinois Constitution mandates 51% level from the state.
On Illinois' budget, specifically, where do you believe cuts need to be made?
There are over 2 billion dollars worth of corporate loop holes in the tax code. Illinois is giving Exxon a tax credit for offshore drilling. This is ridiculous! I want to put our kids' education before the interests of out-of-state corporations.
What approach do you support toward fixing the public pension systems?
We need to follow the guidelines for the state Supreme Court and John Cullerton's bill is a good start which gives the state employees more options in their retirement. The best thing for the pension mess is a strong state economy which will benefit the state treasury and get the bills paid.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
I want to fix our outdated transportation system in McHenry County. I want Metra extended through Huntley and Marengo and more express trains on the current system.
I also support the Rt. 23 interchange at I90 and the Rt. 53 extension.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Jack Franks' energy and the love he has for his constituents is very inspiring and I look forward to continuing his hard work in Springfield.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
I grew up on a farm and learned what hard work is from an early age.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I am a very positive person and I learn from my past to focus on the future.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
I enjoyed history. I have great respect for all teachers and am thankful for their character which inspired me in my life.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
I'm single and don't have any kids, but I would tell them to work hard and not blame others for your problems.