Steven R. Fricke
Republican candidate for Illinois House (89th 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 budget that is sustainable cannot be balanced by only adding revenue. Removing some expense is necessary. No one is willing to make the hard decisions to determine which areas need to cut or eliminated
Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?
It must be. The leadership just gave it an infusion with no real budget negotiations.
What new sources, if any, would you support? Please be specific.
Do you support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax? Please explain.
Please list five areas where you would cut spending.
Workers compensation costs. Medicaid claims need to be tightened. There may be exemptions that need to be adjusted as well ie. retirement income, or lowering the standard deduction.
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?
One thing that needs to be done is to rapidly pay off the back log of payments due. There is no reason to be paying interest to large companies.
Should all new state workers be moved into defined contribution plans?
Yes, and those that are in defined benefit plans should have the option to switch, but not be required to switch
What should the governor do to control pension costs during union contract talks? What would you do?
There has to be some concessions from the unions as well. They are citizens of the state as well and have to see that this direction is not sustainable. All new hires need to be in defined contribution programs. For me its about relationship building and working together to find a solution. collaboration is the key to all of this.
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?
According to recent studies the number one reason is high property taxes and number 2 is job change. Many companies are leaving as well and that adds to the exodus.
What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?
First a property tax freeze so that residents are assured that things won't continue to escalate for a period of time.
What should Illinois do to promote job creation?
Illinois need s to lower property tax and control workers compensation costs to employers.
Did you support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017?
yes. to a point. more needs to be done to address downstate struggling school districts.
What, if anything, should the legislature do to help Chicago Public Schools?
Coming rom northwest Illinois I feel our schools need the help not CPS. They seem to be able to do what ever they want
Do you support opportunity scholarships included in the funding reform bill? Or will you try, if elected, to eliminate that program?
I would continue to support the program. The public schools still keep there tax base.
Should Illinois do more to regulate campaign fundraising? If so, what?
make it more equitable for all candidates.
What help, if any, are you receiving from your party and its leaders, including staff help, advice, legal assistance, money and resources? Be specific.
If you are an incumbent, give an example of a time you worked across the aisle on an important issue.
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.
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?
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?
Tell us a little about your family.
I am married to the gal of my dreams for 37+ years. We have 2 deceased son and to fabulous daughters. These daughters have given us 4 grandchildren that still think that gramma and grampa are cool. We are family farmer who still own and operated the third generation family farm as well as several other endeavors.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
That I participated in an Agriculture market study tour in Vietnam.