Creating Jobs and Improving Illinois Business Climate
The lack of jobs is the most important problem facing Illinois families and businesses. Creating jobs and stemming the flow of jobs to other states needs to be priority. In order to do so, we must address the growing number of fees imposed on businesses and professionals, roll back regulations that make it increasingly more costly to do business here, while increasing access to capital and giving businesses greater incentives to keep and create jobs in this state. During my tenure, I focused on passing legislation that would assist Illinois businesses in creating and retaining quality opportunities of employment, and I plan to continue to do so in Springfield.
- Only House Republican to support worker’s comp reform saving Illinois businesses hundreds of millions of dollars on rates and promoting job creation
- Lead sponsor to boost start-up capital for emerging tech companies by allowing State to invest in venture capital funds that attract and support tech entrepreneurs
- Chief co-sponsor of Illinois Enterprise Commission Act, requiring review and repeal of fees, laws and regulations driving jobs away from Illinois
Tax Relief and Restoring Illinois’ Financial Health
Illinois businesses and families are currently burdened by excess taxes. I will continue to fight future tax increases, just as I fought the 2011 income tax increase. Not only did I oppose the idea of the tax increase, but I also sponsored measures to repeal it just after I was sworn into office in 2011. I would forcefully oppose and work against any effort to make this “temporary” tax increase permanent. Democratic leaders were not able to solve the State’s fiscal problems with the $26 billion generated by the unnecessary tax increase, and the citizens of Illinois should not continue to be burdened with the consequences of the Democrats’ failed leadership.
- Led effort to pass first fiscally responsible and balanced state budget in decades
- Co-sponsored meaningful pension reform
- Sponsored bill to repeal Lame Duck tax increases
- Chief co-sponsor of Budget Review Act
- Sponsored PAYGO (Pay As You Go) legislation requiring lawmakers to offset any new spending with cuts in other areas
Investing in Our Children and Protecting Our Seniors
Education is a state responsibility in partnership with local government bodies, and our state has not put a fixed focus on a student-centric based approach to its education system. There is no “one size fits all” solution to education in this state. Local solutions that take into account local issues must be a key part of any equation—students, parents, teachers, and the state need to be partners in achieving the best solutions for the students they serve. I support retaining the State Charter School Commission and also welcome any effort to remove the cap on charter schools, especially when considering charter schools have shown success in improving performance and closing the achievement gap that prevents many of our children from going on to college and achieving their true potential. However, I believe charter schools should be held to the same standards as our traditional public schools—if they are not performing, they should be closed. Our state needs to focus on what is best for our students.
- Authored law expanding availability of life-saving allergy medicine for school children who suffer from severe allergies
- Primary sponsor of several bills increasing homestead exemption protecting seniors from rising property
- Sponsor of historic education reforms to improve school accountability and teacher evaluations
- Lead co-sponsor of ‘Caylee’s Law’making it a criminal offense to fail to promptly report a child’s death or disappearance
Account Government and Implementing Meaningful Ethics Reform
It is time for Illinois to impose reasonable term limits. When I served as a State Representative, I filed a bill to adopt meaningful, but reasonable term limits in Illinois—12 years, or 6 terms for State Representatives and 12 years, or 3 terms for State Senators. This is a sufficient amount of time for people to advocate for the constituents within their districts before stepping aside and allowing for new energy, new ideas, and new people to emerge as public servants. As I go door-to-door throughout the 24th District, this is the one issue for which folks have more frequently expressed their support. We need to get this done, and get rid of Illinois’ infamous “career politicians.”
I also believe campaign finance limits are critically needed to clean up the fiscal corruption seen in Illinois government. We need to end “business as usual” in Springfield, where some legislators receive outrageous amounts of campaign money and then “objectively” decide important issues, such as pension reform and utility regulation. When I first ran for State Representative in 2010, I voluntarily agreed and committed to abide by contribution limits before they became law, because I have an ethical commitment to the individuals I hope to continue serving in the next General Assembly.
- Principal sponsor banning politicians from putting their names and faces on taxpayer funded signs
- Chief sponsor with Rep. Sandra Pihos of legislation to end the controversial, unfunded and abused General Assembly tuition waivers
- Supports term limits to prevent “career politicians” that serve for decades.