Allen Skillicorn: Candidate profile
City: East Dundee
Office sought: Representative, House District 66
Family: Wife, Heather, and 9-year-old Doberman, McFly.
Occupation: Serial entrepreneur
Education: Associates from Elgin Community College; graduate of Dundee Crown High School
Civic involvement: Former vice-chairman of the Kane County Republican Party, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Illinois, Liberty Leader for the Illinois Policy Institute, Illinois Rifle Association, former board member of the Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce, Sports Car Club of America, and volunteer for Therapy Dogs, Inc.
Elected offices held: East Dundee Village Trustee
Incumbent? If yes, when were first elected: Yes, elected in November 2016
Questions and Answers
1. What is your position on placing a 'Fair Maps' amendment on the November ballot? If the amendment makes the ballot after the primary, will you support it? Why or why not?
I support Fair Maps and have gone door to door collecting signatures to make it happen. Voters should select which representatives they want, not politicians selecting which voters they want to represent. There is a reason career politician defending the status quo do not want the Fair Map to become law. They want to preserve their power and preserve the status quo. We need real reform and that starts with new leadership in Illinois and the Fair Map can help provide the new leadership we desperately need.
2. What are the most important components that should be included in legislative ethics reform? What will you do to help them come to pass?
We don't always need to reinvent the wheel. A decade ago, Louisiana was known for corruption, but Governor Jindal passed broad ethics reforms. Mayor Lightford also took on ethics and banned some forms of outside work, defined lobbying activities, and forced more disclosure. If Louisiana and Chicago can do it, so can the Illinois General Assembly.
I am very troubled by legislators moonlighting as lobbyists or consultants. This is an obvious conflict of interest. In November on the House floor I asked anyone that works as lobbyist to raise their hand. Nobody did. I later cross-checked list of Chicago registered lobbyist and found State Representative Jaime Andrade, State Representative Luis Arroyo, State Senator Elgie Sims, and Senate President John Cullerton were on the lobbyist list.
I am doing more than just talking about these violations of trust. I have filed HB3956 and HB3958 to reign in this abuse.
What we should not do is make a bunch of noise about ethics reform and then end up with very little to show for it. We need reforms with teeth -- not more political posturing.
3. What should the state do to address the still-growing problems with its key pension programs?
The only real solution is transitioning from a defined benefit system to a defined contribution pension system for new employees. We must honor what retirees have earned, but moving forward, there's no reason we can't cap and reform these benefits.
Doing nothing is not a viable option. This is why I have introduced a pension package. I call it my Pension Reform Fixer Up. I plan to roll out a series of townhalls, press conferences, and op/ed's to promote the package this Spring.
Major bills submitted:
• HB3868-Raises the retirement age up 1 year.
• HB3859-Cap pensions for all current and retired employees at $132k per year (Same as maximum Social Security contribution).
• HB3860-Ties automatic Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
• HB3919-Creates a Tier 3 defined contribution plan going forward after January 2021 for all state workers.
These modest reforms could restore the health of our system in a decade if implemented immediately. If we continue to do nothing, the solution to this crisis will only get further and further away--possibly to a point of no return. We owe it to every citizen of Illinois and our children to act now.
4. Describe at least two circumstances in which you have shown or would show a willingness and capacity to act independently of the direction or demands of party leadership. Do you support term limits for majority and minority leaders in both chambers?
Leadership in both the Republican and Democratic parties have failed the people of Illinois. In the summer of 2019, I joined a handful of fellow reform orientated Republicans in a scathing op/ed criticizing the House Republican Leadership on the $45 Billion tax hike they helped the Democrats pass into law.
In 2017 House Republican Leadership lacked the courage to propose cuts needed to prevent a tax hike. I went around leadership and presented my cuts only Right Now Budget anyway. No other House Member has introduced a truly balanced budget in years.
I support term limits for all politicians and positions of leadership. I do not plan to seek reelection to the State House in 2022. I will either run for another office or return to the private sector. I also pledge to not support any candidate who has served longer than 8 years, that includes the House Minority Leader. If Republicans are going to lead on these issues, they must be consistent and live up to the demands they want to place on their political rivals.
5. What should lawmakers be doing to stem out-migration from Illinois?
Two groups are fleeing Illinois faster than any others: young people and successful people. Despite spending more on state aid than any of our conference peers, Illinois college tuition is soaring. Other states run more efficient colleges and undercut our tuition, offer more appetizing scholarships, and mail acceptance letters months before our colleges. When these students leave, they find it easier to land jobs in other states because of lower workers compensation rates, stronger limited liability protection, and other job creating pro-business policies. When we lose a new graduate, we lose a lifetime of community investment - not just tax revenue!
Property taxes are next biggest detriment to Illinois families and businesses. Roughly, 60% of all property tax hikes in the past decade are directly related to pensions. One cannot lower property taxes until pension reform is on the table.
The ultimate solution to Illinois' property taxes is an Indiana style property tax cap that I have filed as HJRCA30. We need capped property taxes to force the state to take on more education funding, but the one cannot happen without the other.
Unshackle the local economy from outrageous property taxes and reform higher education and Illinois will be rejuvenated.
6. Do you believe climate change is caused by human activity? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?
Climate change is cyclical. Is it anthropogenic global warming, sunspots, the same climate patterns that caused the ice ages thousands of years ago, or some combination of all these theories? Call me a skeptic. Man may have contributed to a small increase in temperature, but I have doubts man has forever changed the climate like alarmists claim.
Consensus is not science and when I read about clear deception and misrepresentation of the data in incidents like ClimateGate from the University of East Anglia I further doubt claims by climate extremists. The fact that climate change advocates refuse to have a debate on the issue I find troubling. Climate change science is as "settled" as the debate over whether eggs are good or bad for us.
Nobody likes or promotes pollution and I am happy to live in one of the cleanest countries on Earth. I am confident that innovation will bring more and more energy efficiencies and energy production to market as long as the government doesn't use its heavy hand to restrict innovation.
7. The graduated income tax is designed with the intent to reduce taxes for 97 percent of Illinoisans. Do you believe that will happen? Why or why not? What assurances can you offer voters?
Preposterous, one cannot claim to hike taxes by over $3 Billion and in the same paragraph claim to reduce taxes. It's a shell game and that's why I call J.B. Pritzker tax scheme the Corruption Tax.
Instituting a graduated tax is the wrong direction for Illinois. The proposed amendment is a $3 Billion tax hike on day one with zero protections for any wage earners. Of that $3 Billion, how much will be gobbled up by corruption?
Look around at the other states that have gone in this direction. Missouri for example, the highest rate of 6% starts at just $9,001 per year.
A graduated tax will lead to higher taxes for everyone, not just high-income earners. Minnesota to our North uses a graduated tax scheme. If the Minnesota model were applied to Illinois, a married couple making as little as $37,110 a year would pay $150 more in state taxes a year. These are not millionaires, just working-class people who deserve better.
Want to reduce taxes on 97% of Illinoisans? Then let's repeal the $45 Billion tax hike passed last June!