Suzanne "Suzy" Glowiak Hilton: 2022 candidate for Illinois Senate District 23
Office sought: Illinois Senate District 23
City: Western Springs
Occupation: Engineer, CED Technologies
Previous offices held: Current state senator, Western Springs Village Trustee
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: I think the best way to ensure that the legislature is effective and serves the people of Illinois is to enact strong ethics laws. During my time in the Senate, I've supported several measures to strengthen our ethics laws, including banning legislators from lobbying their colleagues right after leaving office. I also voted to create term limits for legislative leaders to prevent individuals from holding on to power for multiple decades. Additionally, we need to make sure that we have mechanisms in place to hold bad actors accountable and prevent corruption. Lawmakers should serve the people of Illinois, not their own self interest.
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 funding Illinois received during the COVID-19 pandemic was critical to helping our state keep its residents safe during the public health emergency. These funds allowed us to give essential support to local health departments that were on the front lines of the pandemic and provide important services like additional home delivered meals for seniors and mental health resources.
Without access to these additional funds, it's essential that the budget we craft is balanced and prioritizes the services that matter most to Illinoisans. This includes fully funding the evidence-based school funding model to reduce our reliance on property taxes and continuing to invest in quality, accessible health care. It's also critical that we secure our state's financial future by making the needed payments for our pension system and making investments in the state's rainy day fund.
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: Illinois' evidence-based funding model was a critical reform that has helped ensure that we're making
needed investments in our public schools while reducing reliance on property taxes. The model has created a more equitable school funding system that directs funding where it's most effective. I think it's essential that we continue to fully fund this model in our state's budget each year to ensure schools can feel confident about having the resources they need to best teach their students. As state senator, I'll always fight to make sure students and teachers have what they need to succeed.
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 elections in Illinois are free and fair. I'm confident that our elections are secure and
accurately represent the will of the people of Illinois. I also think we've made a lot of progress in our state in terms of improving access to the ballot box. The most significant way to improve voter access is to provide individuals with more options as to how they can cast their ballot. We've long had options for people to vote early in Illinois and have recently expanded our vote by mail program to allow voters to request their mail-in
ballots in perpetuity. I'm also proud of the new initiative in DuPage County to allow people to vote at any polling location on Election Day. DuPage County is the first county in the state to offer this option, which will allow residents to vote at a location that's convenient to them rather than having to rearrange their schedule to vote at their assigned location.
Q: How well has Illinois responded to Supreme Court indications that it considers abortion, same-sex 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'm proud that we've taken action to protect peoples' civil rights here in Illinois. It's incredibly important to me that we protect women's reproductive health rights in Illinois and I'm proud to have voted to ensure that abortion would remain safe and legal in our state despite the Supreme Court's recent ruling. Our state also took action to legalize same-sex marriage in state law in 2014, which will be a critical protection should the Supreme Court revisit that issue as well. If the federal courts will not take action to protect reproductive freedom, marriage equality, and other rights, it's important that the state does.