Master's Degree, Master of Public Administration (MPA), Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago
Bachelor's Degree, Political Science, Illinois State University
Insurance and Investments
On the Record
Do you support a plan to shift responsibility for teacher pensions from the state to local school districts? What is your plan for pension reform?
Illinois must honor its current pension obligations, but make modifications for future employees. The issue of pensions should be solved as soon as possible in a bipartisan effort to ease our state’s financial crisis. Illinois must close the loopholes that are allowing people to receive pensions who simply do not deserve them. Illinois must work to stop any form of pension abuse. I do not believe that the pension costs should be shifted to suburban school districts. Many school districts are having financial hardships and cannot afford to spend anymore. Shifting the burden to suburban school districts will take away educational resources from the students and could increase property taxes.
Should part-time state legislators, state representatives and senators receive pensions? Explain.
The state of Illinois must make modifications to incoming legislators in regard to pensions. Other pubic employees are having their pension systems examined and legislators should be no different.
What are your thoughts on the Medicaid reform package passed by the General Assembly in May?
I do not support the Medicaid reform package passed by the General Assembly. These cuts negatively affected health services for the poor including prescription drugs for seniors and disabled children.
Do you think it’s appropriate for the General Assembly to vote on landmark legislation (such as the income tax or pension reform) after the fall election and in the last days of the assembly? Why or why not?
Legislators need to address the major concerns of Illinois immediately. Citizens are looking for answers and these issues deserve to be addressed.
What kinds of gambling expansion or contraction do you support?
The positive points of increasing the number of casinos in Illinois would be the creation of new jobs, increased state revenue, and more tourists that will spend money in our state. That being said, Illinois must be cautious of who gets a license for gambling. For example, it is important to give the Illinois Gaming Board acceptable time to review license applications for items such as gaming machines. I am not opposed to new gaming in Illinois, but want to make sure that all of the regulations are followed to protect consumers and be in the best interest of the state.
Outside of jobs and taxes, what are the one or two top issues in your district, and what will you do in Springfield to address those issues?
WELFARE REFORM: A major change that I would make in Illinois is the way our public assistance programs function. I support a plan that requires recipients of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program to pass a drug screening in order to receive funding. This will help ensure that those receiving cash are using public funds wisely and not abusing the system. Many residents I have spoken to are clearly concerned that their tax dollars are not being spent responsibly. This program will help restore trust in our system by ensuring that those who use the funds are hard working residents who are trying to get back on their feet. This program will protect the reputation and dignity of those on public assistance who truly need help. CONCEALED CARRY: I would demand a concealed carry law in Illinois. This is an issue of public safety. Responsible citizens should have the right to protect themselves against armed criminals who will carry a firearm regardless of the law.
Grade Gov. Pat Quinn’s job performance. What has he done well? Where has he failed?
First and foremost, Governor Quinn has had to make some very difficult decisions and I respect him for attempting to get our state back on the right track. Governor Quinn has done well in regard to his ethics investigation at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and his support for bettering the environment. I did not support the decisions of Governor Quinn in regard to the tax increase and cuts to social services.
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