Kimberly Nicole Koschnitzky
Democratic candidate for Illinois House (28th district)
Responses to our questions
Why do you think it has been so difficult for Springfield to get a balanced budget passed and signed?
A year or so ago I never would dreamed of running for office, but it has been quite a year!
Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?
I think the current governor and legislative leaders have lost sight of thier actual goals and have become more interested in beating the other than solving problems.
What new sources, if any, would you support? Please be specific.
Id like to say yes but the truth is I doubt it. The years of piled up debt is probably too big to solve without new taxes. I would propose taxing the wealthy before taxing the middle class.
Do you support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax? Please explain.
See above. The wealthy need to pay their fair share, especially since they just got such a nice gift from Trump.
Please list five areas where you would cut spending.
I would have to study this issue more to ensure it didn't hurt middle class workers in any way.
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 would need to study this more but I would only propose cuts that did not hurt education or health care.
Should all new state workers be moved into defined contribution plans?
I beleive the state needs more revenue to start paying the pensions. They have been unpaid for far too long.
What should the governor do to control pension costs during union contract talks? What would you do?
Only if those plans offer fair return on the employees investment.
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 compromise can be found through mutual respect and understanding. The current governor has shown neither. I would start with honest numbers and try to create a foundation of trust in talks with unions and I would not try to fight in the media all the time.
What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?
I am not an economist but you don't need to be to see the damage the the governor has brought to the state. As a public university graduate I would point to how much chaos and uncertainty that he has caused in our colleges and community colleges as a good example of how to scare people away from Illinois.
What should Illinois do to promote job creation?
I support tax cuts for the working class. I would immediately work to stabilize our colleges and community colleges and I would work with federal authorities to authorize DACA Dreamers, which would legitimize thousands of productive citizens. I would also push to ensure women are closing the pay gap in Illinois.
Did you support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017?
Small businesses should get more tax incentives to grow. Amazon would be great but not everyone can or should work for Amazon. I would work with City of Chicago to push back on the negative images of the city that come out of Trump and others as well.
What, if anything, should the legislature do to help Chicago Public Schools?
I will withhold judgement until we start to see if it actually fixes the problem of unequal funding.
Do you support opportunity scholarships included in the funding reform bill? Or will you try, if elected, to eliminate that program?
CPS deserves to be fully funded like any other school district. The governor and Mayor have both played too many games with CPS and the kids are the ones who suffer.
Should Illinois do more to regulate campaign fundraising? If so, what?
I support giving scholarships to private school students only if the parents only are below the poverty line and really need it.
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 need to study this issue more, but from what I have read, the national courts have the final say on this issue.
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 would be open to supporting term limits depending on the exact proposal.
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 would have to study the issue more but I believe the map process should be more transparent.
Tell us a little about your family.
I'm a single working woman who never planned to run for office but was inspired by all the women who have stepped up into leadership roles the past year and wanted to try and do my part to be a voice for young working women like myself.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
My goal is to have the most letters of any ballot name in state history :)