On the issues

Education:

Local control of our schools is so important for the quality of life in this state house district. Orland Park, Tinley Park, Homer Glen, Lockport, Mokena, Frankfort, New Lenox–wherever we live in District 37–quality education is an important factor in our neighborhoods.
Mandates from Springfield and Washington won’t improve our schools as much as local attention to the quality of our curriculum; planning the kind of future we wan t for our children; and support for the challenges our schools and teachers face from all those state and federal mandates.

The skills our students need for the world today are FLEXIBILITY, ADAPTABILITY, CREATIVITY and TECHNOLOGY (FACT).  What are your kids learning?  if they are not learning FACT, they are not being prepared to enter the competitive work force of today and tomorrow.

Money is not always a solution to what troubles education in Illinois.
We already spend more money per pupil than most states. We don’t need tax increases for our schools.  We need to reform the way schools are funded in Illinois.

I will be a strong and determined voice for our children and our schools when I am in Springfield.  I have 2 grown children who attended our local public elementary and high schools.  Both were National Merit winners who went on to the colleges of their choice and to work in the fields they chose.  So I know first hand the importance of excellent, local schools.  I want this same quality education to be there for the next generation of young people here in our towns and I will work for that every day I am in the Illinois House.

Jobs:

For Illinois to turn the corner to financial health, keeping and adding well-paying jobs is essential. The towns here in the 37th District–New Lenox, Mokena, Frankfort, Orland Park, Tinley Park, Homer Glen and Lockport–should be net job gainers not losers. As your State Representative I will be your loud and determined voice to make those jobs we need a reality. There are so many things Illinois can do better to keep those jobs from fleeing our state at the current rate. Let’s not just reverse the flight, let’s add jobs.

So how will I work to do that? Vote against retaining the temporary 67% increase in the state income tax. It’s been documented over and over that high tax rates drive down job creation. The Illinois Legislature needs to quit doubling down on a failed strategy. I will never stop saying that when I am your Representative in Springfield.

What else will I do? We absolutely need to reform workers’ compensation laws. Illinois has one of the 3 highest Workers’ Comp costs in the country. Everyone who is injured on the job needs to be made whole and abuse of the system and bureaucracy is preventing that from happening in Illinois. It is time for true reform of Workers’ Comp laws, not just some more window dressing.

What else will I do to make sure Illinois retains and adds jobs? Illinois needs to reward small businesses, not just the big cats. It’s no secret that small firms, growing rapidly create 100% of new jobs. I will be a loud and determined voice for making sure Illinois tax and business policy does not penalize the true job creators, our small and growing businesses. How many of you know business owners that have moved over the border to grow their business? If you are like me, you know more than one such business.

How do you know I am not just saying this and I will actually keep this promise if you trust me with your vote? I am the only candidate in the Republican primary with an actual history of pro-job votes. At the Will County Board I have voted for our Build Will program where we have built new roads and bridges and repaired or improved existing roads and bridges. This means employment. (Just for the record, taxes were not increased for this program.)

I have voted to support and served on the committee overseeing Will County incentives for the right kinds of businesses to come to Will County. We have targeting transportation companies because of our wonderful location. Other targeted industries that the Will County
Board has successfully in attracting to Will County are manufacturing, food processing, life sciences and education. Will County Board also funds and supports our Workforce Investment Board to educate our citizens for good paying jobs. That Workforce Investment Board is asked by the state and federal governments to administer their programs because of the expertise we have built here.

Jobs are key for our state to improve its economic environment. I am the only candidate who has the knowledge and history of legislative success in this area.

 

TAXES

No State has ever taxed its way to prosperity but Illinois is sure trying.  Right now Illinois has one of the highest tax burdens in the country. We are living here so we know what is happening as a result.

Illinois is losing people.  That high Illinois tax burden is resulting in the second highest out migration rate of any state in the country. If you’re like me, you know families that have moved out to find financial security in another state. And when people leave, their tax dollars go with them to their new state. And the downward spiral continues. Democrats are now asking the remaining residents to pay more, so the state to stay even.

Illinois is losing jobs.  The high tax burden caused Illinois to lose more jobs than we added for each of the last several years. With lost jobs comes unemployment and our unemployment rate is the 3rd highest in the country.

Democrats’ broken promises

The high tax burden increased 67% in 2011 with a temporary state tax increase. Illinois didn’t do what it promised when it passed that increase. The promise was to pay down our past-due bills and our pension shortfalls. However, neither one of those things happened.  New revenue meant new spending for the Democrat majority in the Illinois General Assembly. Since 1990 Illinois has increased its spending at a rate three times faster than the total of population growth plus inflation.

Turning Illinois around

I believe that in order to break Illinois’ downward, tax/spend spiral we need to cut spending by:

  • prioritizing needs
  • spending only what we have
  • cutting fraud and waste.

We need to let the temporary tax increase sunset on schedule. By reducing personal and corporate tax rates we can stem the outflow of workers and jobs. The tax expiration will encourage business expansion and we can further improve the business climate with regulatory reform, including reform of Workers’ Compensation laws. Michigan did this in the last 4 years is. It went from a $2 billion deficit in 2011 to a budget surplus this year.  For the first time in years Michigan added residents.  It can be done. Tax reform is not a distant dream.

I will be a strong fiscal, conservative voice for District 37 when I get to Springfield. As a member of the Will County Board and the Will County Forest Preserve District I have been a strong tax opponent. And I did this without increasing government debt – when tax increases to support a budget increase did not pass the Will County Board I worked as a member of the Finance Committee to tailor the budget to fit the existing revenue. Will County today has a balanced budget and a strong credit rating due to this kind of fiscal discipline.

I will never stop fighting for rational tax policy, reduced spending and a leaner government when I get to Springfield.