Samuel K. Stratemeyer
Republican candidate for Illinois House (118th district)
Responses to our questions
Why do you think it has been so difficult for Springfield to get a balanced budget passed and signed?
Career politicians simply do not have the stomach to balance the budget. They know that in order to pass a balanced budget, there is going to have be reform. It is easier to cobble together spending agreements than it is to craft a real budget. The current process allows state spending to continue and allows career politicians to continue to appease special interest groups and no one has to make any tough decisions. They kick the problems down the road. It is easier for them to raise taxes than it is to solve the real budget problems.
Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?
What new sources, if any, would you support? Please be specific.
At this point - none.
Do you support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax? Please explain.
Absolutely not. The graduated income tax is a bad idea and it will kill the Illinois economy. The last thing we need is to penalize people for making money.
Please list five areas where you would cut spending.
- Eliminating redundant costs such, as 911 and dispatch services that are paid for by several taxing sources.
- Eliminating many of the township governments in Illinois.
- More accountability in public aid to ensure recipients are actually entitled to the benefits they are receiving.
- Reduce and eliminate administrative positions at schools.
- Review the number of local school districts and develop a plan to reduce the number of districts where applicable.
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 need to give the Governor all the tools he needs to bring pension costs down in his negotiations with the unions.
Should all new state workers be moved into defined contribution plans?
Not only should we look at a defined contribution plan, but also look at other options.
What should the governor do to control pension costs during union contract talks? What would you do?
The courts have made it clear that there is little the state can do to change the pension benefits of state workers. The General Assembly should give the Governor all of the tools he needs to get pension costs under control.
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?
What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?
We need to lower taxes, reduce business regulations, implement lawsuit reforms and other reforms to make Illinois a more business friendly state. If we have more jobs - we will be able to keep our people.
What should Illinois do to promote job creation?
We need to reduce the regulatory burden in Illinois. We need to stop playing favorites and handing out special favors to connected insiders. Political corruption is strangling productivity. Businesses know that unless they have insider access - they can't compete in Illinois. Political corruption has to end. It is killing our economy. Taxes need to be lowered for everyone.
Did you support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017?
It is not perfect, but it will benefit many students across the state.
What, if anything, should the legislature do to help Chicago Public Schools?
We need to hold them accountable. CPS needs to perform better before taxpayers pay more of their hard-earned money to bail them out.
Do you support opportunity scholarships included in the funding reform bill? Or will you try, if elected, to eliminate that program?
Yes, school choice is important and these scholarships will help many families throughout Illinois.
Should Illinois do more to regulate campaign fundraising? If so, what?
No. Onerous fundraising rules protect the insiders and the elite. We need to make the political process more accessible to political novices. The whole process is designed to make it easier for political leaders to control who gets on the ballot and who gets elected. Being a political office holder does not make you royalty.
What help, if any, are you receiving from your party and its leaders, including staff help, advice, legal assistance, money and resources? Be specific.
At this time, I am not receiving any help from my Party leadership except for myself and local precinct committeemen.
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?
There are a lot of positive aspects to term limits and it is something we certainly should explore.
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 the Fair Map initiative. We need to look at the way we draw district maps and make sure we are paying attention to historic district boundaries. The gerrymandering in Illinois has not served the people well.
Tell us a little about your family.
My family has owned farm land in Massac County for more than 100 years. My brothers and I are all SIUC alums. One is an attorney and one is a CPA and I am farmer, business owner and broadcaster.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
My brother Ben is running for the State Senate in the 54th District and he is also a Republican County Chairman.
Candidates for Illinois House (118th district)
- Wes Sherrod (No survey)
- Samuel K. Stratemeyer
- Patrick Windhorst (No survey)