Description of office: The Illinois House of Representatives is the lower house of the Illinois General Assembly, it consists of 118 representatives elected from individual legislative districts for two-year terms with no limits; redistricted every 10 years, based on the U.S.Census. The state legislature has the power to make laws and impeach judges. Lawmakers must be at least 21 years of age and a resident of the district in which they serve for at least two years.
In the last two decades, income inequality has grown in Illinois. The top 10% of Illinois earners, for instance, has seen 110% of the state’s wage growth, while the remzining 90% has seen wage decline. A graduated tax policy like that of the federal structure could prevent tax increases for 97% of Illinois residents. My priority is ensuring that the middle class is protected from unaffordable tax increases. It’s important for voters to decide whether or not they support these efforts when this question is on the November 2020 ballot.
I support any step to lessening property tax burdens by providing more funding for education at the state level. This is especially important for retirees on fixed incomes or those facing employment hardships, allowing us to deemphasize large fixed tax payments in favor of tax policy that flexes better with economic growth.
I support a fair and transparent process that ensures that everyone must work together and make sensible compromises, includes input from the public, and upholds the highest standards of the Voting Rights Act. The process should also be done at the federal level to ensure that every state has the same rules in place to make the process fair and transparent across the country.
Our Illinois lawmakers need to make sure that individuals across our state have access to quality mental health treatment, such as counseling and other support services. Whether it is substance abuse, depression, anxiety or any other mental illness, we need to prioritize treating these issues in the same manner as any other physical ailment. By investing in mental health services, we can proactively work towards reducing the serious issues facing our state, whether it is the opioid crisis or gun violence, and ultimately save lives and dollars.
I am completely opposed. Remember when lawmakers promised the income tax hike a few years ago would be temporary? Remember when lawmakers promised the tolls on our tollways would be temporary? Remember when lawmakers promised the lottery proceeds would be used exclusively to fund education? Illinois lawmakers have a long-standing history of promising one thing and then doing another. They have not earned the level of trust that comes with this loosely-worded ballot question. I am opposed to the graduated income tax and absolutely believe that middle class taxpayers will eventually see rate hikes. As our wealthiest leave the state, which has been happening already for at least a decade, tax increases will hit middle income earners. That’s what we’ve seen in other states that have approved a graduated tax system. People need to understand that lawmakers could have written tax rates into the question that will appear on ballots. They could have put rates and restrictions in there to ensu
I am a strong supporter of Fair Maps and am currently a Chief Co-Sponsor of HJRCA 10, which would end gerrymandered political maps once and for all. Today’s mapping process allows the majority party in Springfield to draw legislative districts that protect their incumbents so their seats can be retained and power can be maintained. It stifles democracy, because lawmakers are essentially choosing their voters rather than allowing voters to choose their representatives. It’s wrong when Democrats do it, and it’s wrong when Republicans do it in GOP-controlled states. HJRCA 10, not surprisingly, was sent to Mike Madigan’s Rules Committee and was never assigned a hearing.
The purpose of government is to make sure that our most vulnerable residents have access to the services they need. One of the first things I did was form a Developmental Disabilities Task Force. Since then, the group has grown to include almost two dozen members of the community.
I am the Chief Sponsor of HB 3833, known as Alex’s law, which allows health and social service programs to have opioid antagonists and protects individuals who dial 911 when witnessing an overdose from prosecution. Alex was the son of a constituent who lost his life due to an overdose. Had someone been able to quickly help Alex he would be with us today. I was also the Chief Sponsor of SB 1888 which is now law. The law streamlines the licensing process for social workers by closing the gap between when an individual receives their degree and when they can sit for the licensing exam. It’s a common-sense change that has allowed more qualified professionals to get their skills into the community.