Candidate Profile: Paul Schimpf

NAME: Paul M. Schimpf

AGE: 45

FAMILY: Wife: Lori; sons: Ethan, Garrett

OCCUPATION: Attorney; Lt. Col., U.S. Marine Corps (retired)

OFFICE SOUGHT: State Senate 58th District

PARTY: Republican


Q. Why are you running?

A. I am running to make Illinois a better place, after I hung up my service uniform for the last time after 24 years - I decided that I wasn't done serving the public. I came back to Southern Illinois to raise my family.

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. We need to re-examine the budget from top to bottom. We must rid the budget of fraud and abuse – and eliminate pet projects instituted by legislators. We must protect our most vulnerable populations, while ensuring the safety and well-being of our children and seniors.

Q. Should the state raise income taxes, other taxes or fees, in order fix the budget issues? Why or why not?

A. Before we talk about any new revenues, we must first fix Illinois’ structural budget issues and enact job creating policies. Only then can we talk about new revenues.

Q. How can Illinois grow its economy?

A. I would use the leadership skills I have acquired over the years while serving in the military to create coalitions from both sides of the aisle. I will also work with business and labor organizations to figure out the balance of policies which will make Illinois stronger.

Q. How should the state solve its pension crisis?

A. I believe the May 2015 Supreme Court decision provided a road map for fixing the pension systems. Clearly, any solution must pass constitutional muster.

Q. How should the state approach funding of public education? Is the system broken? If so, how you would fix it?

A. I support a change to the school funding formula. Any changes should work to reduce funding on rising property taxes, be equitable equal for all, eliminate unfunded mandates, and create a level of accountability within the educational environment. However, what I am not for is making changes to the formula that is predicated on taking funding from one child and giving it to another.