Democratic candidate for Illinois House (25th district)
Responses to our questions
Why do you think it has been so difficult for Springfield to get a balanced budget passed and signed?
Many years of partisan politics
Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?
No, I do not believe the budget can be balanced without new sources of revenue.
What new sources, if any, would you support? Please be specific.
Illinois has to do more to attract new businesses by providing sustainable tax incentives to lure more manufacturing jobs and R&D tax incentives to attract innovation
Do you support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax? Please explain.
Yes, I favor a constitutional amendment that favors a graduated income tax which I believe is a fairer and more efficient way to help eliminate the debt
Please list five areas where you would cut spending.
By seeking ways to eliminate waste in government spending by (1) strict review of agency budgets to seek consolidation of personnel where performance of duties are the same or similar in co-dependent agencies (2) reevaluate contracts to determine where services can be consolidated by utilizing best practices and being results oriented (3) promote opportunities for open bidding on contracts to community based organizations vs state mega-agencies (4) forensic study of state purchasing to streamline process and enhance buying power (5) evaluate township government and local governmental bodies' budgets to determine how operation, supplies, contracts may be reduced or eliminated
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, the state should stop borrowing money against contributions and institute pay as you go rules to control costs. The goal of the legislature is to ensure that the pension fund is financially self-sustaining
Should all new state workers be moved into defined contribution plans?
No, a defined contribution plan would raise the state's liability and cost more than a defined benefit
What should the governor do to control pension costs during union contract talks? What would you do?
Enact an equitable tax system that can shore up the solvency of the pension fund
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?
The cost of living and the lack of job opportunities contribute to the exodus as does factoring in the pension and budget crisis, crime rate and property tax inequities create a perfect storm scenario
What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?
Illinois must get its financial house in order and settle on a workable budget that funds services and lowers the deficit. It should enact an equitable tax system (progressive income tax) and reign onerous property taxes.
What should Illinois do to promote job creation?
Illinois should increase manufacturing jobs and R&D credits innovation
Did you support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017?
Yes, I do support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017. The current funding of public schools thru local property tax is woefully unfair
What, if anything, should the legislature do to help Chicago Public Schools?
Legislation that would promote an elected school board Also, the legislature should allow CPS the authority to raise property tax levy above the state cap
Do you support opportunity scholarships included in the funding reform bill? Or will you try, if elected, to eliminate that program?
I do not support the opportunity scholarship in the funding reform bill. In my opinion it akin to a voucher program masked als a scholarship program. Yes, I will eliminate the program if elected.
Should Illinois do more to regulate campaign fundraising? If so, what?
Not at this time.
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 help
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?
The redistricting process should make certain in its consideration that the representation is fair and inclusive for all citizens and that there is a recognition of the diversity of this state
Tell us a little about your family.
I am an ordained minister, husband and father of two.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.