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State House District 56

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  • Scott Kegarise
    (Rep)

  • Michelle Mussman
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

Do you believe in term limits? For leadership, or all levels of government?

How can we develop more affordable housing in the district?

What can be done to enhance early childhood education in our district?

Child care eats up around 20% of a household budget? How can we fix this?

What can be done to lower property taxes?

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I am not opposed to term limits on leadership or others, but worry it gives the public a false sense of security that people will behave better or work harder if they know the clock is ticking. Ohio has term limits and that did not prevent corruption, as seen in the scandal that came to light this summer. If any of us look at the colleagues around us where we work or volunteer we see some people who are careless in their jobs on day one and others who are just as passionate and committed after 20 years of service. Elected officials are no different. We must be constantly working to refine our ethics laws and be vigilant about rooting out corruption. 
We must educate community members to help them recognize this is a need for seniors, for the disabled, for veterans, for everyday families who are their neighbors, so they will support projects that get proposed in their communities. Thriving communities are made up of people of all different ages, abilities and income levels. We can work with developers to identify potential locations, support tax incentives and grants for funding the construction, and help those target residents access programs, such as transportation, home health, and rental assistance, so they stay in these communities they love. 
We need to invest in a wide variety of high quality childcare program options, to meet the needs of all families, including those who work weekends, rotating shifts, or unconventional hours. This requires appropriate licensing, professional development, professional wages, and affordability for the family. We can also consider scholarships and other degree compensation programs to draw new people into the profession. We need to recognize these professionals as skilled educators at a critical time of brain development. Research shows the more we invest in the birth to five years, the more cost savings there are down the road in numerous categories, such as education, social welfare programs, and in reduced incarceration. Young children who receive high-quality day care and pre-school will learn more, be more self sufficient, and earn higher wages into adulthood. 
To make childcare more affordable we need to invest in a wide variety of high quality childcare program options, support Paid Family Leave programs, and increase access to the IL Child Care Assistance Program, while also making sure co-pays are set at reasonable rates. 
First we should pass the Fair Tax, which will help the state to bring in more money, in a less regressive way, to ease the burden on middle and low income wage earners. The state needs to bring in more money in order to continue to meet the yearly increased funding target required by the Evidence Based Funding statute. The state needs to take on a larger share of education funding to relieve school districts of the need to rely heavily on property taxes when the state does not provide adequate financial support. Schools are the biggest expense in property tax bills. We should also continue to look for opportunities to consolidate expenses and responsibilities among units of government where cost savings can be achieved. Some opportunities will be unique to different communities across the state and would require public input and support.