Joe Sosnowski: 2022 candidate for Illinois House 69th District
Office sought: Illinois House 69th District
Occupation: Legislator, fundraising consultant
Previous offices held: Alderman, City of DeKalb and Rockford
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: Term limits and Fair Maps would create a more balanced approach to governance. Fair maps would eliminate partisan gerrymandering, but it is unfortunate that the Governor refused to support this initiative despite claiming prior support. We should have term limits for our Governors, legislators, and for legislative leadership positions, so the people of Illinois are in charge of their government.
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: Poor government management and wasteful spending by the Springfield majority has continued to put Illinois in a tough financial position; federal aid has temporarily masked the problems.
We should seek balance in government with an open and transparent budget process that would require a one week public review of any bills prior to passage. We also need to focus on reforming our unfunded pension and retiree health insurance programs to reduce long term debt.
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: Illinois needs to move toward a system where resources follow a student and family rather than a building. There needs to be more choice in education for parents whether it be public, private, charter, trade school, 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: Unfortunately with the current partisan mapping process, district are drawn in secret by political leaders to create partisan districts where voters are disenfranchised. Instead of creating districts that are contiguous and that keep regions together, they are simply drawn to create a lopsided advantage for the majority party. This process is not a Fair Map process that creates good outcomes. Illinois also needs an id requirement for voting to avoid any possible issues and to create a system of checks and balances.
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: In the case of abortion, we have taken extreme actions out of touch with what voters prefer. Most recently, the Governor and the majority party eliminated parental consent for young girls which is extreme and out of touch with Illinois residents. To remove parents through government action is unnecessary especially considering Illinois law doesn't allow anyone under the age of 21 to purchase alcohol, tobacco, or legalized drugs because public policy has dictated that they are not yet mature enough.