Richard A. Janor: 2022 candidate for Illinois House District 41
Office sought: Illinois House District 41
Occupation: Entrepreneur/executive, Game Day USA
Previous offices held: Naperville Park District Commissioner (2011-present)
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: Many Illinois residents have lost confidence in our legislature due to continued headlines about machine politics, public corruption, and Illinois Democrats being investigated, indicted, and arrested in the wake of the Madigan era. We need to pass meaningful ethics reform to regain the public's trust and confidence.
As state representative, I will be a champion for ethics reform legislation, along with term limits for legislative leaders to reduce systemic corruption and facilitate innovation and fresh ideas. With regard to budget reforms, when significant, massive bills are passed in the middle of the night without being appropriately vetted in both chambers, legislators lose the trust of the public, and citizens become disenfranchised with the political process.
We need more transparency in budgeting, we shouldn't spend more than we bring in, we should pay down pension debt, and we should require balanced budgets by setting and adhering to revenue estimates, as required by law.
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: While federal aid has provided temporary, Band-Aid solutions to budget shortfalls in Illinois, legislators have failed to make systemic and sustainable improvements. Supermajority Democrats refuse to properly fund the Unemployment Trust Fund, which will almost certainly lead to reduced unemployment benefits and increased business costs.
We need proper oversight and evaluation of all departments and programs for both effectiveness and efficiency. We need to eliminate wasteful spending and automatic pay raises for politicians.
During Gov. Pritzker's time in office, a whopping 24 tax and fee hikes have passed, which is crushing to Illinois taxpayers, especially young families and senior citizens. Finally, with violent crime running rampant in parts of our state, we need to prioritize keeping residents safe. If this failure continues, residents and businesses will continue to flee at a rapid rate, reducing the state's overall tax base, and causing additional budget shortfalls.
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: After public safety, funding educational opportunities for children is another top priority. The EBF (evidence based funding) model is a step in the right direction to ensure schools are appropriately funded, but the Illinois legislature must also make adhering to the EBF model a budget priority. All Illinois students must have access to proper technologies and resources needed to prepare them to be competitive in an increasingly technological world.
Funding levels should not be dependent upon ZIP code and should be more equitable throughout the state, allowing children of low-income regions to have the education needed to rise up, achieve at a high level, and improve their situation for their families and future generations. Education is the primary vehicle for young people to transition from poverty to prosperity. I am also a strong proponent of bilingual education, as two of my own children (ages 5 and 12) are currently enrolled in a public school dual language program.
Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?
A: While no system is flawless, I think elections in Illinois are generally free and fair. As a citizen and candidate, I appreciate the dedicated volunteers, election judges, poll watchers, and elections professionals that work hard to ensure free and fair elections.
Election integrity should be a completely nonpartisan issue. Citizens and candidates from both political parties (along with independents) should share a desire for integrity and transparency in this area.
That said, we can do more to remove deceased voters from the voter rolls along with voters who have moved out of state. Whenever citizens hear anecdotes of deceased voters casting votes, public trust in the election process deteriorates, and citizens become disenfranchised, leading to lower voter turnout. Also, I am a strong proponent of requiring valid photo identification to vote, as well as requiring low-income voters to be given the ability to get a valid ID for voting if they do not already have one.
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: Under the Supreme Court's recent ruling about abortion, no changes will occur here in Illinois. Abortion laws in Illinois remain among the most permissive in the nation, such that Illinois is becoming a destination for residents of other states to come for the procedure.
I am a strong proponent of restoring parental notification laws and was disappointed by the repeal of the Parental Notice of Abortion Law driven by Democrat legislators. As a high school varsity baseball coach myself for 20 years, I have to seek parental approval to administer aspirin to a student-athlete. It isn't right or appropriate for an unemancipated minor to have a significant medical procedure without parental notification. Illinois parental notification law required the court to intercede to assist minors in cases of abuse and that provision should be protected.