Patrick Thomas Brouillette: 2022 candidate for Illinois House District 44
Office sought: Illinois House District 44
City: Hoffman Estates
Occupation: Small business owner, Contractor Management Services
Previous offices held: None
Q: What needs to be done structurally to make the legislature more effective? What is your position on term limits in general and for legislative leaders specifically?
A: I believe in term limits for ALL elected officials. Nobody should be making a career out of being a politician
in one elected office. In addition to that, there needs to be budgetary reform, ethics reforms, and we need to address the unfunded pension liability crisis in Illinois. Many people don't realize that 1,000+ page bills are pushed through overnight without the physical ability to review the content of those bills, something that Madigan had put in place and still goes on today. There needs to be public involvement with bills that are introduced. That can happen via public hearings to get feedback on them before House members vote.
Q: Federal assistance has enabled the state to make important advances toward improving its budget. What will you do to ensure these advances continue when the federal aid is gone?
A: What we should be doing is prioritizing key fundamental services and eliminating wasteful spending. The reality is that Democrats have increased spending drastically since they've held the majority. They voted in favor of legislative pay hikes year after year, and they badly mishandled the unemployment system during the pandemic, which led to almost $2 billion in fraudulent claims being paid out. Mismanagement of funds and resources costs all of us in the form of higher taxes and less funding being directed to places that it really needs to go.
Q: To what extent are you happy or unhappy with the evidence-based model for education funding now in place in Illinois? How would you define "adequate" state funding for Illinois schools and what will you do to promote that?
A: Adequate funding for schools should mean a baseline foundation of funding, infrastructure, and basic school resources. Many schools received millions in COVID dollars and have not spent it advantageously for school security or educational tools. Every child in every school district across the state should receive the same level of education, no matter where they live. I am a strong supporter of parental empowerment when it comes to their children's education, so I would like to see additional opportunities for input from parents in a school's curriculum, etc.
Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?
A: Generally, yes, I believe Illinois' elections are free and fair. I do have concerns that polling places can at times be understaffed with judges, leading to the potential for closures and therefore making it harder for voters to exercise their right on Election Day. I'd like to see a better, more organized effort to recruit capable, qualified people to serve as election judges, since they are on the front lines of ensuring our elections are fair.
Additionally, ballot boxes need to be made more secure with proper electronic security equipment in working order as well as inspections prior to and throughout the voting period. These ballot box locations need to be carefully selected to avoid any political favoritism or nefarious activities As it relates to voter ID, I support a state-subsidized free ID program to benefit those that cannot afford an ID to vote.
Q: How well has Illinois responded to Supreme Court indications that it considers abortion, gay marriage and other social issues to be state, not federal, responsibilities? What if anything needs to be done in these areas and what would you do to make your vision come to pass?
A: Abortion is a state issue, as the high court has determined. Abortion remains legal in Illinois, and no changes will take place. Illinois already has the most permissive laws on abortion in the country.
One item I take issue with is the repeal of the parental notification law last year. I believe the repeal of that law is extreme and wrong. Parents have every right to know if their minor child will be undergoing any health care procedure. That said, I also support ensuring there are protections built into the law for those cases involving abuse of a child.