Peter Janko: 2022 candidate for Illinois House 69th District

  • Peter Janko is a Democrat running for Illinois House 69th District.

    Peter Janko is a Democrat running for Illinois House 69th District.

Updated 10/13/2022 8:25 AM


Party: Democrat


Office sought: Illinois House 69th District

City: Marengo

Age: 70

Occupation: Retired

Previous offices held: Elected Democratic State Central Committeeman -- 14th Congressional District (2018-2022) / Elected Democratic State Central Committeeman -- 11th Congressional District (2022-2026)


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: Since I am not currently in the legislature, I am not really in a position to suggest structural changes. Let me get into the legislature first and I will certainly work toward making the Illinois legislature more effective. What I am confident is saying is that from what I am seeing, our state legislature has been doing a fairly good job in the last four years.

I believe that term limits is a double-edged sword that while it may remove bad and corrupt legislators, it may also remove good and effective legislators.

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I believe that fair map redistricting, combined with ranked choice voting and campaign finance reform would probably make term limits unnecessary.

Since that's not the case, I support term limits.

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: The State of Illinois still has a big spending problem. Not from things we truly need for a functioning society, but from sweetheart deals, projects that make no sense, and other wasteful spending.

The problem is twofold:

1) The Illinois legislature and state agencies can do more to reduce spending, such as getting far more aggressive in stopping graft, corruption, and sweetheart deals which is estimated to cost the state off Illinois over $500 million / year.


2) I believe that we need far more people from the various professions in the state legislature; people with firsthand experience in the things that the state spends our tax dollars on in order to provide oversight and counter lobbyist influence. That will depend on the voters electing good candidates genuinely sincere about working toward make Illinois a much better state to live in.

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 Illinois evidence-based model for education funding results in Illinois taxpayers paying the second highest property taxes in the country. Illinois is not even close to the national average.

I believe that Illinois must shift much more responsibility for school funding to the State of Illinois, where revenue is based on the ability to pay (income taxes), rather than the value of property, over which

homeowners have little or no control. This unfairness especially hurts senior citizens and young families by making them helpless victims of real estate speculation and inflation.

As people age and find themselves living on a fixed incomes or become unemployed or underemployed, property tax bills stay the same or keep rising, often forcing people to sell their homes. High property taxes can also keep young families from buying their first home.

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 do believe that, except for a few isolated incidents, elections in Illinois are free and fair. In terms of election security, I believe that all ballots should be paper ballots and retained until elections have been certified. At the same time, I have no issue with machine counting of ballots.

Never-the-less, I do believe November 3rd election was the "most secure in American history."

Department of Homeland Security -- Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC), and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council (SCC), November 12, 2020.

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 has responded fairly well in protecting the freedoms and liberty of its citizens in response to the irresponsible and irrational actions of the Supreme Court.

But we are now in uncharted territory where we are for the first time in our 200+ years of history having our rights taken away.

I also don't believe that Illinois' responses will be the end of it. I can see any or all of the protections of our rights that have been enacted in Illinois eventually being challenged in the courts and ultimately ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

I think the answer lies with Congress. I don't believe in packing the court. I think a more effective solution would be to end lifetime appointments of judges limit them to a single term lasting 6, 8, or 10 years. That way, the damage done by rogue judges can be reversed in years rather than generations.

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