Illinois is in a terrible financial position because the legislature has accelerated increased taxation the last two years and has not confronted the major cost drivers (pension costs, corruption, etc.) effectively. Increased taxation leads to a poor business climate and population reductions. This lack of preparedness meant that Illinois was ill prepared for any crisis as clearly shown by Covid-19. The Governor has not followed lessons learned by other states that have balanced risk and opening for business much more effectively.
I join with others calling for a referendum to the state constitution and allow for changing the pension benefits that consumes a large part of the budget.
I am opposed to the so-called “Fair Tax”. Any change that moves our tax from a flat to graduated tax will expose every taxpayer in Illinois to the possibility that the threshold for higher taxes will be lowered. Illinois taxation has caused a massive flight of people and businesses to lower tax states. I also dislike the class warfare marketing of this change to our tax system.
We need to turn over the mapping of legislative districts to a committee of affiliated and unaffiliated voters and experts to draw the new map. The committee would include demographers and data experts.
I believe that Illinois has safeguards in place for this election because they are asking voters to fill out an application, sign it and send it in. The “universal vote by mail” proposals vary and I would certainly be opposed to mailing out ballots at election time without any verification.
It’s critical that we provide pandemic relief programs for Illinois residents and small businesses to ensure they stay on their feet and we don’t lose parts of our tax base. We also need the federal government to provide relief to state and local governments to allow them to continue to assist those displaced by the pandemic. Right now, it’s essential that we prioritize critical services like health care and unemployment insurance to protect Illinoisans during this crisis.
I voted to put the Fair Tax on the ballot this November because I believe that it’s important to give Illinois voters the option to adopt a tax system that most other states use to reduce the burden on working- and middle-class families.
I am a co-sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 4, which would establish an independent commission dedicated to redrawing the state’s legislative maps. It’s essential that our state’s maps are drawn fairly, and that our elected officials are representative of the diverse communities throughout our state.
This spring, I voted for Senate Bill 1863, which expanded Illinois’ vote by mail program to ensure we keep everyone safe during this pandemic. I believe that we should always be looking for ways to make it easier for registered Illinois residents to vote, and that includes exploring the option of expanding voting by mail permanently.