Darren Bailey: 2022 candidate for Illinois Governor
Office sought: Governor
Previous offices held:
What do you consider the key to an effective working relationship between the governor's office and legislative leaders? To what extent is this relationship effective now? What would you do to improve it?
The Governor's office and the Legislature are two separate branches of government, but in order for our government to function these two branches must work together for the good of the people of this state. One would think that with Democrats in the majority in the House and the Senate and a Democrat in the Governor's office that all would be well but, in many ways, there is a lot of tension between the executive branch and the legislative branch.
One of the first things I would do to work with the Legislature would be to bring all four legislative leaders into my office on Day One and ask them for their budget priorities. Our state is not made of money. The budgeting process must be based on funding priorities and the Legislature and the Governor's office must work together in identifying those priorities.
What is the responsibility of the governor to work with legislators in determining health regulations during the pandemic or any other public health crisis? How would you work to meet this responsibility?
The executive branch of government already has vast Constitutional powers. There is no reason to amass more power the way Governor Pritzker has and is continuing to do in the name of public health.
At no point has he consulted with the General Assembly to help deal with the pandemic. Instead, he acted independently of the Legislature. The Legislature should have been involved in some capacity to help deal with a crisis of this magnitude and sadly it was not. This will not happen in a Darren Bailey Administration.
Should the state play a role in funding a new Bears stadium at Arlington Park? What is the governor's responsibility in this regard?
I am all for sports teams and the sports business. We have a great history of sports in Illinois and sports bring communities together and generate a lot of economic activity. However, it is not the job of taxpayers to bail out sports franchises. If the Bears want to move to Arlington Park, they are free to do so but it is not the responsibility of taxpayers to fund the move. Sports franchises across the country are finding ways to fund their own stadium projects -- the Bears can do the same thing. We have a lot of working families struggling who need help more than professional sports teams.
What will you do to ensure spending priorities you espouse during your campaign are reflected in the budget?
Governors of both political parties have long touted government spending as a measure of success. To be clear, I am not opposed to spending money to help the people of Illinois, but we should not be spending money for the sake of spending money. I think it is time we asked basic questions such as "what are we getting for the taxpayer money we are spending? Are the programs we are funding working? Is there a less expensive way to achieve the same results?
What I will bring to the budget process is accountability. We see politicians send out press releases all of the time touting government spending but then we never hear about the results of all of the spending. I will bring accountability and transparency to the budget process, and I will not sign a budget that is crafted in secret in the dead of the night. It is time to bring sunshine and transparency to the budget process. Since the beginning of this campaign, I have stated I would demand a zero-based budget process where every penny is accounted for so we can prioritize spending.
Efforts to create an independent panel to determine legislative districts were not successful in time for the 2020 Census. How important do you think it is to create such a process for the 2030 Census? If you support the issue, what should be done to create change, when should it be done and how would you contribute?
How well do you think the evidence-based model for education funding in place in Illinois is working? How would you define "adequate" state funding for Illinois schools and what will you do to promote that?
Everything we have done in terms of education funding is throw money at a flawed system. Why do we have high schools in one part of the state that look like college campuses and high schools in another part of the state that look like they should be condemned?
What will you do to fix the public employee pension systems?
We must solve the state's pension problems and lower taxes. Working families are struggling and in need of help. I filed to amend the pension protection clause as a way to spark a conversation with workers, not union bosses and the political elites who use state workers as bargaining chips in every election.
We must bring workers and those focused on solving problems, saving pensions long-term, and being respectful of promises made to workers and taxpayers to the table. I support no longer kicking the can down the road and ensuring lawmakers make required payments. We must also move to 401(k) style plans for all new hires and have honest conversations with state workers to gain reasonable adjustments to Cost of Living Allocation and more participation in health insurance. I would also look into supporting more buyout plans that current workers support to help alleviate future debt.