Illinois’ house is on fire. Reforming our state’s pension system must be our number one priority. For years, Illinois legislators have failed to adequately fund the state’s pension system creating a massive unfunded liability on taxpayers. It is imperative that we move all future benefits from a defined benefit system to a defined contribution system and end the practice of spiking salaries at the end of a public employee’s career to boost their pension payout. I have refused the legislator pension.
Just like every Illinois family, the state has to live within its means. In order to get to a balanced budget and reverse the trend of people moving out of state, we must:
- Reduce spending
- Cut the existing tax burden and freeze property taxes
- Remove unfunded mandates and onerous state procurement rules on local governments that help drive up local property taxes
- Reform state purchasing practices to provide for greater competition and transparency driving down costs
- Block efforts to impose new taxes, such as a tax on senior income or a service tax
Big government has failed in Illinois. It’s time to follow the lead of our neighboring states and make Illinois competitive again.
Politicians have raided the state’s transportation funds for too long and our roads are falling apart. Now that we’ve acted to protect these funds so our roads can be repaired and new roads built, we need a infrastructure plan to address our long term needs.
Many of the traffic cameras across our state are about revenue and rife with abuse. I support eliminating red light cameras and speed cameras in the state.
I support the move to expand education vouchers so the money follows the child. I also support the expansion of charter schools. Competition in education leads to increased quality by putting parents in control of their child’s education. No child should suffer in a failing school simply based on where they live.
One of the biggest problems facing our state is our brain drain – kids moving out of state because college tuition at our universities is so high. Tuition at our schools are 30% – 60% higher than out-of-state schools in the same conference…despite the fact that the state pays double the national average per pupil.
When our future taxpayers go to school outside of Illinois, they often put down roots in those other states by starting jobs and families of their own there. That breaks up families. Rather than being micromanaged by the state, our universities need more autonomy on how to spend their money so they can bring down costs and make college more affordable.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE, FAIR MAPS & TERM LIMITS
In a well-functioning election system, I believe voters are the ultimate term limit. However, for that to work, we must have fair maps and equitable campaign finance rules, neither of which currently exist in Illinois. I support the Governor’s “Fair Maps” effort to limit partisan redistricting and the Governor’s effort to put term limits on the ballot so the voters can decide.
I believe our Constitution guarantees the right of law-abiding citizens to own firearms. I support concealed carry rights for those citizens, and believe we need to expand opportunities for hunting and other shooting sports activities across the state.
SANCTITY OF LIFE
Every human life is precious. Whether it be an unborn child, an adult who is developmentally disabled, or someone who is terminally ill, our policies need to encourage and value the innocent and vulnerable among us.