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State House District 18

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  • Robyn Gabel
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Sean Matlis
    (Ind)

Biographical Information

How would you address Illinois' revenue shortfall, especially in light of COVID-19, including plans to raise more revenue and how to prioritize spending?

Do you support the Fair Tax (graduated rate income tax) amendment?

What measures will you support for equitable redistricting?

What is your position on vote by mail and would you support a universal vote by mail for Illinois?

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We absolutely need to stimulate economic activity in Illinois, and that means opening the state up for business and school – SAFELY. Other states have been able to accomplish this, and we can too, as scientists and doctors have attested. We must monitor hospital load and mortality rate. Increased number of cases may indicate false positives, increased testing, or asymptomatic conditions.

We must cut state spending, as Mayor Lightfoot acknowledges, yet during the height of the pandemic while millions of Americans lost their livelihoods our representatives gave themselves a raise.

Raising our already high taxes will exacerbate the Illinois Exodus and ultimately lose revenue. We need to instead encourage new businesses to come to Illinois.
I oppose the tax amendment.

There are many examples of our legislators, including Speaker Madigan, breaking promises, particularly about taxes. In 1989 they passed a ‘temporary’ tax hike from 2.5% to 3% set to expire in 1991, but made permanent in 1993. In 2011 it was ‘temporarily’ increased from 3% to 4.95%, set to reduce in 2014, but made permanent in 2017. They promise this new tax will only be on the ‘rich’, and will be used responsibly, but nobody believes them.

Moreover, Illinois has one of the highest overall tax burdens in the nation. The wealthy are leaving, taking their taxes and their businesses with them. Then the burden will shift to the middle class. There is a reason that Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, ‘God forbid the rich leave'.
We all support equitable redistricting, but somehow our current representatives never manage to get it done. My own town of Evanston has three different State Representatives! In my district (18) six towns are cut into pieces. I support a plan that will keep as many towns and villages into cohesive units as possible. This supports communities having unified identities. Redistricting should be overseen by an independent commission. I would consider the plan from CHANGE Illinois as one option to consider.
Past Democrats and Republicans alike have admitted that mail in votes are unreliable and subject to fraud. Ideally they would be a convenient and safe method for residents to participate in the election. Unfortunately there are cases of unprocessed votes found every day. Under the best of circumstances our mail has a less than 100% delivery rate. We all have lost mail. This means that voters are being disenfranchised. We have opened up supermarkets, private schools are opened, protests are allowed. We can safely allow in-person voting, which is the only sure way to be represented in the election. I do understand the need for absentee ballots in some cases however, and would consider supporting them for vulnerable populations.