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Angelique N. Collins

Democratic candidate for Illinois House (25th district)

Angelique N. Collins

Angelique N. Collins

Democratic candidate for Illinois House (25th district)

MBA Roosevelt University, 2015 BA Howard University, 2009
Past Political/Civic Experience
No previous elective or appointed positions held.

Responses to our questions

Why do you think it has been so difficult for Springfield to get a balanced budget passed and signed?

Response: I think several factors contributed to the long budget impasse

  1. The Governor and the legislative party leaders put political party considerations before the interest of the state to have a balanced budget that would provide the critical services that Illinoisans relay on and to pay its bills on time. It seemingly became too important to win political points and make the other person (party) look bad that solve the difficult problems facing the state.
  2. Rank and file legislators did not take enough personal responsibility to press their leaders to resolve the budget impasse.
  3. It is also important to recognize that there were very challenging issues that required courageous decision-making. The budget deficit with spending billions of dollars out of balance coupled with billions in unpaid bills made it easier for some to just wait to see what others would do rather than engage in decisions to reduce spending in critical areas and agree to find additional revenue. There were no easy options left and going forward the decision-making will be equally challenging. Whether its long-term budget stabilization or improving the business climate, rank and file legislators will be required to put the people of Illinois first and exercise courage to make the difficult decisions.

Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?

Response: I do believe that the budget can be balanced without new sources of revenue. However, this will require difficult decision making with the right priorities in mind. We must not abandon programs and services that provide a safety net for the most fragile of our people. But it also means that spending that has not proven to provide results of value has to stop. We can still do much better at eliminating fraud and waste in government programs. This would include continuing to reduce the number of individuals that we feed, house and provide costly health care for in prisons across the state. It has been proven that we can punish many more offenders in community setting at much less cost without adversely effecting public safety. Right sizing prisons and other state run institutions would considerably reduce spending pressures.

What new sources, if any, would you support? Please be specific.

I am not, currently, supportive of additional revenue. I believe there should be a concerted effort to balance the budget without additional sources.

Do you support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax? Please explain.

While I am open to considering this idea, I am at present undecided and not persuaded about the long-term benefits of a graduated income tax.

Please list five areas where you would cut spending.

  1. Reduce prison spending by reducing the number of individuals incarnated. The Governor's Commission on Sentencing and Criminal Justice Reform's interim and final reports included some recommendations that should be given serious consideration.
  2. Reduced the number of state operated facilities for the developmentally disabled. Illinois like most states have found that by serving these individuals in community setting operated by private agencies, provides a higher quality of life.
  3. Eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor. This office provides little functional value. There are several cost neutral approaches to replacing the Governor if it becomes necessary to do so.
  4. Require Medicaid beneficiaries who are abled bodies adults without child care obligations to work to pay the cost of health care premiums, deductibles and copays to reduce the cost of health care to the state.
  5. I believe that there are many functions that the state should privatize at considerable savings. Several state agencies, for example, operate call centers and do eligibility determinations of various benefits (TANF, SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, etc.). The information system support for these functions are costly to maintain and upgrade. By privatizing these type functions not only will there be considerable direct operations cost savings but also indirect saving on benefits and pension cost as well.

Since the Illinois Supreme Court's 2015 decision tossing bipartisan pension reform, what can and should the legislature do to control pension costs, if anything?

First, I think it is important to protect those individuals who have earned pensions and are now depending on them for financial survival. We must not throw seniors into chaos or have them live with the fear of losing what by law has been earned. During their careers they without choice paid into a system that promised a pension upon their reaching the retirement qualifications. The state's promise to them should be a certainty. There are, however measures that should be taken.

  1. The legislature should reject any legislation that enhances the pensions of any person(s).
  2. The legislature should as much as possible restrain the growth of state government. The number of state employees directly effects the growth in pension liability.
  3. The legislature should work with the governor to where appropriate outsource (privatize) functions to reduce the number of state employees and the related health care cost and pension liability.
  4. New state workers should be moved into defined contribution plans.
  5. The legislature should explore with the governor the feasibility of offering defined contribution conversion plans to any willing current state worker in place of the defined benefit plans they now have.

Should all new state workers be moved into defined contribution plans?

This is a very complicated question that'll take some creative solutions to address. However, it would be wise to move new state employees into a defined contribution, which will in turn help the state to relieve some future debts. As it stands today, the state will not be able to uphold its current plan, adjustments will need to be made for new employees coming in.

What should the governor do to control pension costs during union contract talks? What would you do?

These are very difficult negotiations because of so much mistrust among the parties. Nevertheless, the governor should work to help the parties see that it is in everyone's interest to rescue pensions from the real consequences of unfunded liabilities in the hundreds of billions of dollar. The threat of collapse is real even though few view it as such. The union is motivated to have as many state workers as possible. Perhaps the governor can convince them that without working together to find a long-term pension solution, the state must take measures to significantly reduce the number of workers subject to the pension system. I would do the five (5) things listed above.

Illinois lost more residents than any other state in 2016 and the trend appears to be holding for 2017. What is the No. 1 reason, in your opinion, for the exodus?

I believe Illinois must balance, stabilize its budget and reduce the backlog of unpaid bills. The budget impasse caused considerable harm to Illinois' image as a reliable place in which to do business. Financial institutions and companies doing business with the state found it very difficult to apply reasonable business principles in investment decision-making. There needs to be a clear signal supported by action that this will not be repeated. Property taxes need to be capped in some manner. There is a growing risk of families being property taxed out of the homes they have worked all their lives to own. I am specifically concerned about the risk of this in the 25th district. The combination of state and local tax increases is a threat to the stability of neighborhoods in the 25th and across the Chicago region.

What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity could do a much better job of helping small business development in local communities. There is little evidence that this agency and its resources ever find their way into the 25th district. As a representative I would work with DCEO to do business development that will bring jobs into the district.

What should Illinois do to promote job creation?

Job development also requires neighborhoods to be safe and secure. As a legislator I will seek to work with member of the district to find the best ideas of how to improve policing within the community and to improve the relationships between law enforcement and the residents.

Did you support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017?

I support the education funding reform recently signed into law. Without quality public education available to all children, we cannot be the society we aspire to be. Our democracy requires an informed and thoughtful public. An uneducated and uninformed citizenry will not be able to assess the impact of public policy affecting them and will not be able to select quality effective leaders. As the quality of public education declines, many children are being left behind and will be less able to complete for jobs that provide good wages nor act in the interest of themselves and their families.

What, if anything, should the legislature do to help Chicago Public Schools?

The legislature should take actions to make public schools as safe and orderly as possible. CPS and all school districts schools should be transparent in its business practices and publicly accountable. The legislature should support legislation that requires openness and accountability. This would help schools in how they function as well as how they are perceived by the public. Many parents have little confidence in CPS.

Do you support opportunity scholarships included in the funding reform bill? Or will you try, if elected, to eliminate that program?

I am undecided about the opportunity grants included in the reform bill. While I don't have plans to eliminate the program, I will be watchful to see what impact it will have.

Should Illinois do more to regulate campaign fundraising? If so, what?

I worry that big money and the wealthy are dominating the election process which will make it less possible for ordinary citizens to run for and hold office. I also worry that the influence of big money is skewing issues to the extremes (both left and right) making compromise and cooperation unlikely. Since the court has made it near impossible to reduce contributions and spending, total disclosure is the option that we should aggressively pursue. We should as much as possible eliminate "dark money". I support full transparency and disclosure of the source of all money spent to influence election results.

What help, if any, are you receiving from your party and its leaders, including staff help, advice, legal assistance, money and resources? Be specific.

I am receiving no help from a political party on my campaign. I am not receiving staff help, advice, legal assistance, money or other resources from the party.

If you are an incumbent, give an example of a time you worked across the aisle on an important issue.


If you are an incumbent, give at least one example of a time you did not vote with your party on a significant issue.


Do you support term limits? If so, will you commit to sponsoring legislation and/or lobbying your colleagues on behalf of a constitutional change?

I do not support term limits

Do you support changes to the redistricting process? If so, will you commit to sponsoring legislation and/or lobbying your colleagues on behalf of a constitutional change?

I do support changes to the redistricting process, I think the present process is much too political, protects incumbents, and denies voter choice. I need to evaluate a specific proposal before committing to supporting or sponsoring it.

Tell us a little about your family.

I come from a very close knit family, while I do not have any children of my own, I have three nephews and I am the middle child of two sisters.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

-In 2011, I opened the first African American owned beauty supply store on Chicago's westside. -I have visited 5 of the 7 continents. -I'm a true Chicagoan, having once lived on each side of the city (north, south, west)

Candidates for Illinois House (25th district)