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State House District 47

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  • Deanne Marie Mazzochi
    (Rep)

  • Jennifer Zordani
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

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

What are your top three priorities for your first year, if elected?

What is your position on redistricting?

Do you support private healthcare or healthcare for all, if neither of those, then what platform? (Please explain why you support your healthcare position)

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

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Vote by Mail provides voters a convenient and secure option to exercise their fundamental American right to vote. We need to increase voter turnout and providing this option to voters is the right thing to do. Illinois makes vote by mail available to all registered voters which means that when people have unexpected events they still are able to vote. We don’t impose gates to block people from voting. When the pandemic struck, Illinois responded with improvements to the process to provide virus free voting. I would have supported the legislation if I was in Springfield. My opponent did not.Universal vote by mail should be considered and we will have even more experience with evaluating processes, costs and support following this election cycle. I understand that those states that currently offer universal vote by mail also offer in person voting if desired so it is expansive not exclusionary. 
The response to the pandemic is the top issue in my district right now. This will be a school year with no end to the challenges. Our districts continue to evaluate learning options with the goal of returning to in person learning (full time or hybrid). I will be responsive to families and teachers who share the goals of keeping our communities safe and making certain children have the best learning options available to them. The next phase of challenges is likely to arise when we have COVID vaccinations available. I know our residents want the distribution of safe and effective vaccines to be conducted equitably and efficiently in Illinois. As a State Representative, I will expand the outreach to our residents, making sure that they have information quickly and that they know what resources can help them through this crisis. Small business restoration is also a priority. Prior to the pandemic, small businesses were left out of too many policy and legislative decisions. The pandemic has shown our communities the extreme vulnerability of our smaller operating companies like local restaurants, small manufacturers and service providers. I''m committed to providing emergency funding and other lifelines to small businesses. Aside from crisis relief, we need a fresh look at fees and state licensing to right size fees, oversight and consumer/resident benefits. Small businesses get lumped with large businesses too often and, if we do a better job of scaling requirements appropriately, we can help small businesses grow revenues and employment. The budget, addressed in another question, is a top priority. Ethics reform is also at the top of my priorities. Illinoisans are so tired of corruption, and they recognize it affects all levels of government and it imposes real costs on our state. Voters I talk with - in both parties - recognize it may be their party this week and the other party next week. The reforms suggested to the Joint Commission on Ethics Reform and Lobbying included changing some of the “guidelines” to restrictions, restricting lobbying by legislators, increasing disclosures and restrictions on lobbyists and ensuring autonomy and independence to the Legislative Inspector General. I am committed to changes like these so we finally achieve broad ethics reform. We also should consider stronger processes to permit pension boards and the legal process to terminate pension payments and clawback pension funds from elected officials convicted of felonies related to their positions. 
There needs to be significant action at the Federal level, and in the meantime Illinois can help give residents their voice and their vote by creating a transparent process that takes into account the ethnic, gender and racial demographics of our state and restricts lobbyists and others with conflicts of interest from drawing our maps. I support efforts to reform redistricting. Residents should choose their elected officials, not the other way around.
It is absolutely wrong that there is no strategic plan for healthcare in America and an approach to making healthcare truly available to every person. I don’t have a platform or rely on any single solution because there are many alternatives that might work. Unfortunately every state, including Illinois, is negatively affected by extremist Republican politicians who undermine effective healthcare coverage. The current Federal administration makes bold-faced lies saying they want to protect people with pre-existing conditions, when it is seeking to void the Affordable Care Act and the protections in place for people with pre-existing conditions. When the cost of coverage is unaffordable, there simply is no protection. Employers and employees with coverage remain subject to escalating premiums and decreased coverage. Workers who lose their jobs see their savings dwindle as they pay their healthcare costs. Families are bankrupted by illness. Whether it is physical or mental health coverage or unaffordable prescriptions drugs, there is always a gap, always a disappointment. Patients suffer; doctors and other medical providers also suffer. Illinois has taken action to help lower costs and provide coverage for its residents, including by adopting Medicaid expansion as part of the ACA. It recently passed legislation to lower the costs of insulin for people who can least afford it. That legislation was necessary and widely supported on a bipartisan basis. My opponent did not vote in favor of it. The complexities seem insurmountable, but they are not. I have the determination to find solutions and make good healthcare available and affordable in Illinois. 
The pandemic has hammered the finances of every state. Governors are acting reasonably and responsibly when they seek Federal funds to address budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic. Illinois is one of the least Federally dependent states and has been a net payer into the Federal system for decades (to the tune of about $4 billion a year recently). It''s reasonable for Illinoisans to expect Federal funds to help our state recover from this situation. The proven benefits from Federal stimulus programs during severe recessions is well known and we only need to look back to the 2008 meltdown as a reminder.If Illinois voters pass the fair tax proposal, my goal is to use any new dollars to get Illinois'' financial house in order, which means paying our old bills and supporting the services Illinoisans need, like public education, health care and child safety. I don''t underestimate how difficult it is to choose between school funding; helping foster children and abused children in the Department of Child and Family Services and providing our workers with decent transportation infrastructure, but I''ll make those choices responsibly and with a view to making every dollar we collect provide value to our residents. I do not support taxing retirement income. We have to find tax relief for our senior citizens so they can stay in Illinois, near their children and grandchildren and the lives they’ve built. Covering our budget shortfall is going to be expensive because it is not possible to roll back expenditures to cover the shortfall, and our borrowing rates are high. I am open to suspensions of expenditures that do not increase the existing harms from the pandemic and these can be considered line by line. I will prioritize the most urgent needs, and these will include emergency relief to small businesses and other avenues to increase employment.