Seth Lewis: 2022 candidate for Illinois Senate District 24
Office sought: Illinois Senate District 24
Occupation: Insurance Sales -- State Farm Agent
Previous offices held: Illinois State Representative, Trustee Bartlett Fire Prevention District
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: In my first 2 years as an elected official, almost 6,000 bills have been filed in the House alone. Each one of these pieces of legislation is meant to be effective and help. The true issue that I see is prioritizing and having the political will to take on the toughest challenges facing our state. I have the political will to work
with others to fix our problems and to try and make Illinois a place where people want to live and not leave! I have signed a Term Limit pledge. I have been a co- sponsor and voted for HB642 which term limits legislative leaders. I have introduced my own bill -- HB2469 one month after taking office, which would term limit leaders on local boards that self- appoint leadership positions.
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: I will continue to work to the best of my abilities to make sure that the State does not spend more than we receive and continues to meet its current statutory obligations. I will also work to make sure that the legislature is not initiating any multi-year programs based on one time funding sources.
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: I understand why the EBM was developed and I support additional funding for our children and their
schools. However, the communities I represent, (apart from U-46), receive little to zero benefit from the EBM for educational funding. Most of the districts I represent are Tier 4 and considered "adequately" funded. The property taxes paid by the residents I represent are high and are causing many residents to re-think where they would like to live, especially as they become older. Property tax relief must be a part of the conversation when we revisit future increases related to education dollars in the state budget.
Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?
A: Illinois has become extremely aggressive in allowing people multiple options when casting their vote in elections. I believe the election system in DuPage County is fair, secure, and provides above adequate voter access. As legislators, we must give our election authorities the resources and time they need to adapt to these varying routes the legislature has created or expanded in the past couple of years to ensure voter integrity is maintained.
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: The state of Illinois has taken the most progressive path possible related to the issues mentioned.