41st Senate District candidates talk term limits, income tax
Candidates vying to represent Illinois' 41st Senate District disagree on whether term limits should be imposed for all lawmakers or only legislative leaders.
Incumbent Republican state Sen. John Curran faces challenger Democrat Bridget Fitzgerald in November.
Fitzgerald, 30, of Western Springs, is a proponent of term limits for Senate and House leaders of both parties -- up to 10 years in office -- and the governor.
"I understand each of those require a constitutional amendment," said Fitzgerald, former Western Springs village clerk. "I am willing to stand up to extreme agendas that punish the middle class and most taxpaying residents of Illinois ... the interpretation of that is leadership that's been steering the decision-making for too many generations in a direction that the rest of the state doesn't agree with."
Curran, 45, of Downers Grove, said term limits are critical to reforming state government. He would like to limit all statewide elected officials, including all legislators, to two terms in office -- 10 years or 12 years in total.
"That is a point of contrast between myself and my opponent, who just wants to term limit legislative leaders," said Curran, a former DuPage County Board member and Woodridge village trustee. "(House Speaker) Mike Madigan's been in the General Assembly for 47 years. (Senate President) John Cullerton 39 years. These are grossly inordinate terms of office. We look to our states surrounding us that have term limits. They have better results."
Fitzgerald said voters set term limits for all lawmakers at the ballot box and believes that decision should be left up to them come election time.
Both Curran and Fitzgerald oppose the idea of a graduated income tax, citing a lack of fairness.
"It is my firm belief that this would be a tax increase on a majority of households in the 41st District ... I'm against that," Curran said, adding the average household income in Naperville is $145,000.
Fitzgerald proposes a billionaire's tax instead, aiming her comments at candidates running for governor. Such legislation likely would pass, Curran added.
"I just struggle with trying to find the best compromise and a way to address the condensed amount of wealth that's at the top of our tax bracket," Fitzgerald said. "It's one step in the right direction, allowing those running for governor and who make over a billion dollars a year have their opportunity to chip in."