Todd C. Henricks
Republican candidate for Illinois House (101st district)
Responses to our questions
Why do you think it has been so difficult for Springfield to get a balanced budget passed and signed?
After starting out as a school teacher and coach in 1979, I was able to become a college football coach. After six years of college coaching and getting married, I returned to Cerro Gordo, my home town, to work in my family's insurance agency. I never got football coaching out of my system and volunteered at our high school in 1987. I have just retired from football coaching at the end of the 2017 season following thirty years of being a volunteer coach. As I progressed through the executive committee chairs of the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois organization, I would frequently respond to people who asked how I got into the business that I was actually a football coach who happened to own an insurance agency.
Do you believe the state budget can be balanced going forward without new sources of revenue?
This budget impasse has been brewing for years and no one wants to accept their share of the responsibility for their part of the impasse. Additionally, as the income tax rate was increased from 3% up to 5% and then later reduced to 3.75%, few if any departments of State government adjusted their spending habits back down to the lower levels of tax receipts. State government has a very difficult time reigning in spending once they have received more money earlier.
What new sources, if any, would you support? Please be specific.
Yes I do. The State needs to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse in each and every department of government before anyone or any entity is asked to pay additional taxes.
Do you support a constitutional amendment favoring a graduated income tax? Please explain.
Follow the lead of the Trump tax decrease and use lower taxes to increase production and revenues.
Please list five areas where you would cut spending.
No I would not be in favor of a graduated income tax. I believe in a flat tax without exemptions or deductions. You simply pay tax based on what you have earned.
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?
Public paying for abortions. Cable television in prisons. SNAP abuse. Consolidate Treasurer and Comptroller offices State assistance for electric car charging stations
Should all new state workers be moved into defined contribution plans?
Keep working to find a way to amend pensions that meets the "Benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired" portion of the Illinois State Constitution. And never again take a pension payment "holiday" by not making the pension payment from the state.
What should the governor do to control pension costs during union contract talks? What would you do?
Yes, I think we should move all new state workers into defined contribution plans. That is how the vast majority of non-governmental workers have their retirement pensions established.
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?
Negotiate the cost of pensions be absorbed by the unions in the final contract as part of the employee compensation package. I would negotiate that state employees that are represented by unions have their pensions paid by the unions, as it is for union members outside of government. The state should not be held liable for public employee union pensions.
What should Illinois do — via tax policy, spending or other policy means — to keep residents from leaving?
The high cost of living in Illinois.
What should Illinois do to promote job creation?
We need to reduce business costs by reducing corporate taxes and regulations. We also need to reform the multiple layers of local government as far as property taxes go.
Did you support the education funding reform bill that the governor signed in 2017?
Reduce business taxes and regulations. Reform workers' compensation by reducing medical reimbursement payments.
What, if anything, should the legislature do to help Chicago Public Schools?
Yes I do.
Do you support opportunity scholarships included in the funding reform bill? Or will you try, if elected, to eliminate that program?
Nothing more than has already been provided.
Should Illinois do more to regulate campaign fundraising? If so, what?
I would have to research the Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship program further before making a decision whether to support or oppose.
What help, if any, are you receiving from your party and its leaders, including staff help, advice, legal assistance, money and resources? Be specific.
No, not at this time.
If you are an incumbent, give an example of a time you worked across the aisle on an important issue.
None as of yet.
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 absolutely support term limits. I would definitely commit to sponsoring legislation and/or lobbying my 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?
Yes, and I will gladly sponsor legislation on behalf of a Fair Map amendment to our state constitution.
Tell us a little about your family.
I am happily married to my wife Jane for 34 years. We have a daughter, Leah, who is a senior majoring in Insurance Risk Management and Finance at Illinois State University, and a son, Noah, who is a freshman majoring in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
I am also a retired assistant fire chief with our Cerro Gordo Fire Protection District Volunteer Fire Deartment. I am also a 41 year member of the Sons of The American Legion Squadron #117, and a Life member of the National Rifle Association.