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State House District 102

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    Mitchell Esslinger

  • Brad Halbrook

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?

Campaign Phone (217) 203-2500
A good amount of revenue could be generated by the Fair Tax amendment, which would alleviate immediate revenue shortfalls so that the state government isn't forced to raise taxes on everyone. However, we must do more than just that. The state government is going to have to make a lot of tough decisions in the coming years, and I suggest freezing agency spending growth and cutting legislative salaries by 10% until at least FY2024. In addition, I always believe in ensuring people are earning a living wage, and I am in support of Illinois' path to a $15 minimum wage. Rising wages will boost our economy and help our small businesses, allowing for a rebound from COVID-19 so that Main Street can survive and keep our communities thriving.
Yes - every Red state around us besides Indiana has a graduated income tax system, because if you're a billionaire you should pay more than a fast food worker. If someone tells you they're against it, they either don't know that it will lower their taxes, or they make over $250,000/year in income. Some are against this bill for the chance that it could allow state legislators to raise taxes, but they already can now. The majority of the revenue will come from wealth in Chicago and the suburbs, and will be redirected toward necessary services like public schools and hospitals downstate. If we want to fix our budget, this, paired with an ethics reform package to eliminate wasteful spending lost to corruption, is a step in the right direction
We need to bring an end to gerrymandering here in Illinois and redraw districts by creating an independent, nonpartisan commission within the State Board of Elections to redraw our districts based on Census data. This is a problem that comes around every decade and allows a party that is in control to cut up a district that best serves them for the next ten years. This process enables a party to maintain control even if the majority of the people in the district are not in favor of that party. This is not how Americans should be represented - we have elections to decide who we want to be represented by, not the other way around. We must ensure all voters get a fair and equal say in how their government is run.
Vote by mail is a great way to expand accessibility of the ballot and get more people involved in civic participation. I also believe that Election Day should be a holiday so that people can vote even if they have long workdays. In terms of universal vote by mail, I don't think anybody should be forced to vote a certain way. This year in Illinois we have a great mix of options: people can vote by mail, in-person early throughout October, or in-person on Election Day. I think we should have mulitple avenues available to people to make the right decision about voting for themselves, and I think voting by mail should absolutely be an option for them.
Campaign Phone (217) 717-2780
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