Republican candidate for Illinois House (108th district)
Responses to our questions
Why do you think it has been so difficult for Springfield to get a balanced budget passed and signed?
Speaker Madigan and the Democratic majority in Springfield have played a major role in keeping this state without a balanced budget, along with ineffective Republican leadership. Our most recent budget included a 32% tax increase without any reforms and still isn't fully balanced. We need true, principled leadership and representation in Springfield dedicated to passing fully-funded budgets.
Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?
Yes. We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Raising taxes on the backs of families and taxpayers should not be an option any longer.
What new sources, if any, would you support? Please be specific.
I do not support additional sources of revenue. I support reigning in spending and identifying areas of waste within our budget.
Do you support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax? Please explain.
No. I do not believe a graduated income tax is the most effective and fair method to tax Illinois residents. A tax plan that involves all residents based on a percentage of their income. For example, if you make $25K/year, and there is a 2% flat tax, your income tax would be $500. If you make $1M/year, your income tax would be $20,000.
Please list five areas where you would cut spending.
First, I would propose an across-the-board cut to every agency and department. I do not propose this because it is the simplest option, but because I believe that all budgets have budget lines that no longer produce cost-effective results, may not be relevant or they may have excess money. The Illinois Budget is no different.
To be specific, I would look into spending on:
- Higher Education
- Office of the Governor
- Office of the Lt. Governor
- Secretary of State
- State Comptroller
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?
We should considering adopting 401K style pension plans as an opt-in option for existing employees as well as for new employees.
Should all new state workers be moved into defined contribution plans?
All current state workers should be offered the option to move into a 401K style plan, and all new state employees should be presented with a 401K style plan as their only option if they want to have a state pension upon retirement.
What should the governor do to control pension costs during union contract talks? What would you do?
Put Illinois taxpayers first, be fair and reasonable during negotiations, and prepare for unions to strike after negotiations. The idea is to produce results from negotiations that show prospective companies looking to locate business in Illinois that pension costs are being properly managed and that the unsustainable costs have made a turn for the better.
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?
Property taxes and sales taxes are being used to fund public policies and budgets that are unjustifiable, indefensible, unsustainable and unmanageable.
What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?
Scrub the state budget to reduce expenditures, eliminate budget lines, reduce budget lines totals, review revenue from ineffective budget lines and move that revenue into more effective and impactful areas of state spending. These reductions in total expenses will require less tax dollars to operate our state. Then we should apply any budget savings to taxpayers in the form of lower taxes.
What should Illinois do to promote job creation?
A great first step would be to designate Illinois as a Right-to-Work State. We also need to take steps to curb pensions plans and re-negotiate worker compensation rules with the productivity of business in mind. This will improve our business climate and create a friendlier environment for business growth.
Did you support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017?
No - I felt it was a bailout for Chicago and didn't directly address many of the issues facing students and their access to quality education across the state.
What, if anything, should the legislature do to help Chicago Public Schools?
We need to give teachers better tools to manage and control their classrooms, which would then lead to maintaining greater teacher accountability for the education of their students. Reward teachers for how well they prepare students for the next higher grade.
Do you support opportunity scholarships included in the funding reform bill? Or will you try, if elected, to eliminate that program?
If we properly manage public schools, parents will not want to send their children to nonpublic schools. However, given our current reality, giving parents a choice (e.g., vouchers for charter schools) would be a significant improvement to ensuring our students are getting the education they need and deserve. I would qualify my support for opportunity scholarships as long as the funding is essentially a wash and hopefully even would result in a net savings. Our ultimate goal should be to fix our public schools and promote access to charter schools to teach us best practices in educating our children.
Should Illinois do more to regulate campaign fundraising? If so, what?
I am not a supporter of big government, but when we have candidates that are raising millions and - in some cases even billions of dollars - to be elected at the national level, there is the chance that potential candidates at the grassroots level will not be able to effectively compete. However, as a Freedom of Speech issue, campaign donation limitations would violate our Constitutional Amendment and I would not support any effort that does not support our Constitution. We need campaign fundraising regulation that is fairly applied to all parties and allows for candidates and groups true freedom of speech.
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 not receiving any support or resources from the Republican Party of Illinois.
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?
Yes, I would sponsor legislation and reach out to other House members to create a consensus that leads to term limits becoming the law in Illinois.
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, bottom line is that if based on changes in the next Census, districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am married with three beautiful girls and our family dog. My wife and I set the example for our children to follow and love and encourage our girls to make the right choices. We do the best we can to prepare them to enjoy happy and productive lives.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
I am not a politician.
Candidates for Illinois House (108th district)
- Charles Meier (No survey)
- Don Moore