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EDITORIAL BOARD QUESTIONNAIRES

Debbie Meyers-Martin

Democratic candidate for Illinois House (38th district)

Debbie Meyers-Martin

Debbie Meyers-Martin

Democratic candidate for Illinois House (38th district)

Education
B.A. University of Illinois Chicago
Occupation
Illinois State Treasurer's Office
Home
Olympia Fields
Past Political/Civic Experience
Village President - Olympia Fields Village Trustee - Olympia Fields

Responses to our questions

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

I believe that it has been so difficult to get a balanced budget in Springfield because there is very little enthusiasm for compromise. Deal making seems to be a lost art form.

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

I don't believe that the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of income.

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

I would support the acquisition of companies like Amazon that would bring new sources of income, but The state must also be ready to address soaring taxes as well as overbearing regulation on companies.

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

Yes, I support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax because it would bring fairer and more equitable taxation to the people of Illinois. It would mitigate some of the tax burden on the average citizen.

Please list five areas where you would cut spending.

I would cut in these 5 ways: Eliminate Waste; eliminate Duplication; and Inappropriate Spending. I would also work towards controlling the state's debt, and I would end many of the subsidies to huge corporations.

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?

I don't believe in reducing the pension benefits for workers because the Constitution stipulates that benefits cannot be "diminished or impaired" so going forward the legislature needs to use the Supreme Courts ruling as a guideline as they evaluate reform to the pension system.

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

I believe that it is an option to consider. Moving new employees to a 401K could be a fiscally sound option just as it has become more commonplace in corporate America.

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

The Governor wants Congress to assist Illinois by giving permission to the state to come up with cost saving changes to their pension programs. I would create a cost analysis of every new pension cost in each new contract negotiated so as a legislator, I along with my colleagues could determine the best cost-effective options as determined by the cost analysis.

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 people leave for a variety of reasons including high taxes, crime, job and business opportunities, weather and the state budget stalemate over the years.

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

I believe one way to stem some of the exodus is to establish the graduated tax system.

What should Illinois do to promote job creation?

Illinois should invest in companies that have the ability to transition ideas into new products and technology services. Additionally, we should create a plan for modern infrastructure with new construction jobs and financing instruments. Also invest in small businesses.

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

Overall, yes. After attending a presentation, I do support the effort to create an education funding reform bill so that there can be an increase in state level funding to schools, more accountability of the dollars granted to schools and transparency in local school administrations.

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

The Legislature should assist the Chicago Public Schools in their ongoing challenges that include documentation of their increased outcomes related to graduation; Creating more parity in the distribution of dollars to all schools, and certainly assistance related to pension reform.

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

In a perfect world, opportunity scholarships would be an asset to our educational systems, but the opportunity for inequity and the potential devastation to the public school system throughout our communities suggest to me that I could not support this program, as written, at this time.

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

Yes, there should be efforts made to contain the costs of campaigns because we are quickly moving to cost prohibitive campaigns that will keep good people from participating in the process.

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 my party.

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

I am not an Incumbent.

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

I am not an incumbent.

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. I feel that it takes awhile for any elected official to garner the experience and knowledge base to become more and more effective. It is unfortunate that just when you are at your most effective, your term could be up.

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?

Yes, I support some consideration to the effort to change the redistricting process.

Tell us a little about your family.

I have two adult daughters that both live in Los Angeles. One daughter is married, and my younger daughter is not. I have no grandchildren. My older daughter is Marketing Director for the Los Angeles Conservation Group and my younger daughter is a financial analyst.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I have never been to Wrigley Field

Candidates for Illinois House (38th district)

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