Paul J. Santucci: 2022 candidate for Illinois Senate District 42
Office sought: Illinois Senate District 42
Occupation: Adjunct professor, North Central College; commercial realtor, Patrick Commercial
Previous offices held: Naperville Township Trustee (2013)
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: First the biggest structurally factor is stop the partisan drawing of the legislative maps. The term limits that could work would be every ten years, so when the legislative maps are redrawn the legislature would turn over. This is not a perfect solution, as the staffers would be the only ones with historical perspective. However if not all districts were to start the ten year period in staggered election years, that could solve that problem.
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: If we organize our budgets to reflect those anticipated ending of funds we can make our budgets more sustainable and keep our spending under our revenue, giving us a true balanced budget. I will work as much as I am able with Illinois congressmen to continue federal funding for infrastructure and emergency assistance.
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: It remains to be seen the actual effects of the EBF model, however it could be a factor in decreasing the education gap amongst students from Barrington to Prairie Hill. I believe adequate funding should be based on a state wide mean and assure all districts are funded to at the minimum that mean level.
However mismanaged districts like the CPS need to have some accountability for there deficits caused by poor money management from the past. If CPS wants a different set of rules and budgeting then they should have a different model to address their shortcomings.
Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?
A: I believe the election process in Illinois is as fair and it should be. Even though the election voter logs are outdated and not properly maintained, the elections are not fraudulent or corrupt as a whole. Are there irregularities and mistakes in every election, yes. Is there a grand conspiracy to "throw" the elections for one party or one candidate, no!
I believe that we could do more to allow easy access for all registered US citizens residing in Illinois to be able to vote. I do believe convicted and incarcerated residents have forzfitte there right to vote when they chose to commit a crime. I believe undocumented US residents do not yet have the right to vote until they become US citizens. I believe the bipartisan State Board of Elections Board is a model for how we can ensure the integrity of our elections.
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 the Supreme Court should have never been the decision-maker of a law. I believe the US legislature should have been the writer of the law to legalize abortions and grant the rights for same sex marriages. It could have also been left up to each individual states legislatures to write the laws for the individual states if the Federal legislature was not inclined to address the issue for political reasons.
Regardless of my personal beliefs, I will not vote to take away any persons rights and liberties as a legislator. I do believe that on the abortion issue, there needs to be a time frame of first trimester, and allow for abortions in the case of rape, incest and danger of the life of the mother. I do not support that tax payer public funds pay for these services. If health care facilities want to perform these procedures they need to be paid for by the patients or privately funded donors.