Matt Hanson: 2022 candidate for Illinois House District 83
Office sought: Illinois House District 83
Previous offices held: Kane County Board Commissioner, Kane County Forest Preserve Commissioner
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: Improving the structure of the legislature to make it more effective and efficient should be something towards which both parties should work. We must work to gain the trust of the people of Illinois. Lawmakers can strengthen trust by ensuring that they remain accessible and responsive to the people they represent, which is why I have placed an emphasis on door knocking and talking to as many people as possible during my campaign. As for term limits, I support term limits for new leadership. I look forward to continuing the conversation and improving the system we have in place. While we have made some accomplishments in recent years, we can do more.
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: Recently, Illinois has been able to pass structurally sound budgets, eliminate the backlog of inherited debt of the prior administration, finally pay its bills on time, and has received at least 6 credit upgrades because of it. The State also built up the "rainy day fund" to over $1 billion and also prepaid pension obligations to help reduce future payments, all while investing in education and healthcare. The State was able to do this because of smart, calculated plans and decisions. I believe the best way to ensure that we continue down this road and rebuild Illinois' finances is by continuing to pass smart, balanced budgets and not defaulting back to partisan games.
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: The evidence-based model for education funding allows us to ensure that resources are disbursed to those who need them the most because every child, no matter what district, deserves a high-quality education. Adequate state funding also varies from district to district and affects several stakeholders. Ensuring adequate funding also helps property taxpayers, meaning that they are not forced to pay more every year. The General Assembly has previously supported increased new funding for classrooms. I would also support similar measures.
Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?
A: Yes. I believe elections in Illinois are free and fair. The right to vote and the knowledge that your vote counts is critically important to our democracy. Illinois lawmakers have made some good improvements to ensure that elections run fair and smoothly, and that all voters have the opportunity to vote in a way that is most convenient to them, such as expanding vote by mail. I believe we can expand these efforts and expand voter input on things like legislative maps and campaign funding.
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: I believe that Illinois is better positioned than our neighboring states because of previous actions taken to protect reproductive healthcare and marriage equality. With the recent ruling, States are now in control of any of these decisions, so we need to ensure that we continue to elect leaders like myself that respect the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community. As a state, we need to continue our work. Other states have made it known that they will target women and doctors who visit states like Illinois seeking services. We must protect doctors and women from the harassment and legal troubles.