Stefanie Hood: 2022 candidate for Illinois House District 42


Party: Republican

Office sought: Illinois House District 42

City: Glen Ellyn

Age: 39

Occupation: Lawyer, Edwards, Maxson, Mago & Macaulay

Previous offices held: None


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: Creating a balanced budget is critical to effective legislating and a prosperous state. We need to reform the budget-making process by formulating and adhering to a revenue estimate as required by law at the onset of the budget process. The Illinois Constitution requires that each bill be read for three days before a final vote can occur.

However, the supermajority Democrats routinely introduce thousands of pages of the state budget in its final form at the last minute. As a result, lawmakers vote on a budget they did not have the time or opportunity to review or comprehend. The General Assembly should thoroughly vet all spending bills with a chance for public comment. A more transparent process would allow lawmakers an opportunity to remove wasteful spending and budget responsibly.

Limiting legislative term limits is a meaningful step toward eliminating corruption or inaction in Illinois politics. State representatives should be limited to five terms and state senators to three terms

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 federal government gave Illinois a real opportunity to get on a path to financial solvency, but the General Assembly squandered it. No attempts were made to address the state's structural problems in its budget, tax policy, or pension crisis. The temporary "tax relief" gimmicks touted by the current administration end after Election Day, and taxpayers will again have to pay the bills through higher taxes.

Responsible use of the funds would have meant repaying federal loans for unemployment trust funds and reducing state debt. Instead, the recent budget increased spending that will strain future budgets when federal aid is gone. Legislators must work together through a reformed budget process to eliminate nonessential, duplicative, and wasteful spending.

With a looming recession, we must focus on reforming government and paying off debt.

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: All students in Illinois deserve equal access to quality education to create a foundation and pathway for opportunities and a productive future. A student's ZIP code should not determine the quality of their education. An investment in education is an investment in the community. We must ensure that funding is distributed effectively to generate better outcomes for student achievement.

The Evidence-Based Funding model provides more equality in funding and resources than relying only on property taxes and local revenue. "Adequate" state funding should be measured by how the money is spent rather than how much money is spent. Dollars must be used effectively and directed to the classrooms to benefit the students, not the administration. I would support additional funding per pupil with measured results. We must increase accountability, transparency, innovation, and academic outcome.

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 Illinois elections are generally free and fair. Trust in the electoral process is essential to the foundation and health of our democracy. Citizens must be confident that their vote is free, fair, and secure. Any concern of election fraud would jeopardize our entire system of government and trust in elected leaders.

Therefore, I would support legislation reinforcing the never-finished work of securing the election process. Removal of relocated, deceased, and legally unqualified voters from the rolls is essential to confirm the accuracy of voter registration. The requirement for some form of identification at the polling location would also safeguard against issues of impersonation.

Lastly, I would support legislation that requires each election authority to report information to the State Board of Elections to help eliminate any potential for fraud.

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 authority to regulate abortion was returned to the states by the Supreme Court. Nothing has changed in Illinois as a result of the Supreme Court ruling.

There are no limits to abortions in Illinois. The state's abortion laws remain among the most permissive in the country and the world. Although there are sharply conflicting views on this issue, residents within the district overwhelmingly agree that elective full-term and partial-birth abortions are too extreme. Furthermore, the repeal of the Parental Notice of Abortion law allows doctors to perform abortions on minors without notifying the parents. I support parents' rights to guide the health and safety of their children, with adequate protections for children who have been abused.

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