Christine Winger: Candidate profile
Bio: Christine Winger
City: Wood Dale
Office sought: Illinois House, District 45
Family: Husband Mark and Daughter Samantha
Occupation: Full-Time mother of a Toddler, and an Illinois State Representative of District 45.
Education: Bachelor of Science, along with a certificate to teach Social Science Secondary Education. Illinois State University, 1994
Civic involvement: Previous Wood Dale Stormwater Commission Board Member, Former Jaycee Member, Volunteered for DuPage PADS
Elected offices: Wood Dale 3rd Ward Alderman
Questions & Answers
Would you vote to approve a graduated income tax?
Absolutely Not. Illinois citizens are already overtaxed. We are losing population at record levels. We don't need more taxes. We need fiscal accountability. If so, what qualifiers would you impose and where would you set the brackets? What would the top tax rate be?
How big a problem is the level of property taxation in Illinois? If you view it as a problem, what should be done about it?
Property taxes are a huge problem. People are being taxed out of their homes. It's an unfair system. That's why I am a co-sponsor of HB5924, which repeals the Illinois Property tax code. This measure would force the General Assembly to create true property tax reform, along with repealing unfunded mandates to the municipalities and school districts where possible.
What is your evaluation of Gov. Rauner's job performance? Please specify what you view as its highs and lows.
I believe the goals put forward by the Governor are critical to the success of our state. Governor Rauner has continued to push for efficiencies. For example, HB5093 which creates the Statewide Chief Information Security Officer, to implement and oversee the consolidation of various state IT departments into the Department of Innovation and Technology. This ultimately leads to dollars saved and the opportunity for better management, which is critical in an era rampant with hacking and identity theft.
Creating economic policies that contribute to stability, will bring jobs and investment. While the Governor was trying to bring reforms to Illinois, the Madigan controlled agenda was too powerful and created needless suffering, thus we saw a budget impasse that significantly impacted social service agencies and providers.
What is your evaluation of Speaker Michael Madigan's job performance? If you voted for him for speaker in the last legislative session, please explain your vote.
Terrible. We are among the highest taxed states in the nation. If he were in a private sector job, he would have been fired by now. He's done nothing to make Illinois attractive to businesses and families. I never voted for Madigan, and I never will. I signed the Peoples Pledge this summer, and I am calling on my opponent to do the same.
Should there be term limits for legislative leaders? If so, what would you do to make that happen? What other systemic changes should be made to strengthen the voice of individual legislators, limit the control of legislative leaders, encourage bipartisanship?
Yes. I support term limit legislation for leadership and regular members. Rotation of leadership is a way of creating systemic change. Fair maps could also limit one party from having so much control. Too much power in one person, in one party, that controls the campaigns of its members is what got us in this financial mess. The speaker of the House controls which legislation comes to the House Floor. This is too much power, and it limits the voice of legislators.
How concerned should we be about Illinois' population loss? What needs to be done to reverse the trend?
We are losing our next generation to other states which is very concerning. Students are leaving the state for other universities. Many of them find job opportunities where they went to school, and never move back home to Illinois. If we don't have a young qualified workforce, innovative businesses will look elsewhere. Bipartisan work to improve state policies will return stability to Illinois, thus creating confidence again, which may prompt students to consider Illinois again. We are also losing a devastating amount of our senior citizen population, due to out of control property taxes, which I addressed earlier in this questionnaire.
Please provide one example that demonstrates your independence from your party.
On May 30th, 2018, I demonstrated independence when supporting SJRCA4 which calls upon U.S. Congress to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the United States Constitution. I was the only female Republican state representative to vote yes. I am the mother of a young daughter. Our daughters throughout this state need to know that Illinois believes they have the same opportunities as men.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Making O'Hare airport a better neighbor, relative to noise and air quality has been a passion for me. When taking office in 2015, I created a bipartisan bicameral group of legislators that focus on O'Hare, and its impact to our residents. We come together on a regular basis, to collaborate on legislation and other efforts aimed at reducing noise, runway rotations and air quality. Opioid and Fentanyl epidemics have also been a focus of mine for the past several years, even before taking office. These epidemics affect many age groups. Anyone can be affected. I continue to collaborate with DuPage County officials, other community leaders and the medical industry to address this tragic loss of life we are seeing throughout the state.
In addition, here a few questions meant to provide more personal insight into you as a person:
What's the hardest decision you ever had to make?
Running for State Representative in 2014. Given the climate of negativity which has been going on for years, within state government and campaigns, we really have to evaluate how that will impact our lives. I made the right decision, and know I make a positive impact to Illinoisans.
Who is your hero?
Each amendment in the Bill of Rights is important, but which one of those 10 is most precious to you?
They are all important. But, if I had to pick one, it would be Freedom of Speech. The First Amendment allows all of us to have an equal voice, which is what our country was founded upon.
What lesson of youth has been most important to you as an adult?
Don't let other people's opinions define you.
Think back to a time you failed at something. What did you learn from it?
I was a terrible athlete in grade school. I was always the last one picked. I learned to always focus on my strengths, and to also appreciate the strengths of others.