NAME: Mike Babcock
IMMEDIATE FAMILY: Wife: Carol; three sons
OFFICE SOUGHT: State Representative, 111th District
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PREVIOUS ELECTED POSITIONS: Wood River Township Supervisor, 2009-present
Q. Why are you running?
A. I’m running because I want to make this state better for our children and our children’s children. I fear the direction that Illinois is headed and I want to protect our families from the reckless tax and spend policies of Mike Madigan. I have a proven record of balancing budgets, creating jobs, and keeping taxes low and I want to bring that track record to Springfield. I also believe we need term limits to put an end to corruption and send these career politicians packing.
Q. The state recently passed a stopgap budget, but a long-term solution to budget issues has evaded the General Assembly and governor’s office. How should the state solve its budget issues?
A. The lack of a budget has endangered many of the services that our most vulnerable citizens rely on every day, this cannot continue. While the stop-gap budget was a good first step towards solving our budget issues there is certainly more work to be done. Elected officials need to put party politics aside and come to the table willing to compromise to do what’s right for the people of Illinois.
Q. Should the state raise income taxes, other taxes or fees, in order fix the budget issues? Why or why not?
A. Simply raising taxes is not a solution to our budget problems. People and businesses are leaving our state in droves and our tax base is shrinking. We have to grow our economy if we are to have any hope of balancing the budget.
Q. How can Illinois grow its economy?
A. We need to focus on bringing jobs back to Illinois and keeping the ones we have. It is imperative that we enact pro-growth reforms to reinvigorate our economy to spur job growth and to balance our budget.
Q. How should the state solve its pension crisis?
A. Our pension system is teetering on the brink of insolvency and the sheer costs of pension payments are threatening to decrease available funds for vital services. We need to focus on growing our economy so we can balance our budget to meet our obligations.
Q. How should the state approach funding of public education? Is the system broken? If so, how you would fix it?
A. It is outrageous that Metro East schools continue to be shortchanged to bail out Chicago schools. This must stop. As State Representative one of my top priorities will be to fully and fairly fund our schools, not bail out Chicago.