Name: Tanya Hildenbrand
Office seeking: State Senate, District 57
City of residence: Belleville
Campaign website: https://www.facebook.com/Hildenbrand4Senate/
Why are you running and why should you be nominated? Due to the political rot that has infected Illinois politics, I believe we need non-politicians to step up and lead this state. Instead of complaining about my taxes, I’m doing something about it. I am stepping up. It’s time for out of the box thinkers, with operational success and common sense to fix the problems that politicians have created. Throughout the years, some Illinois politicians transformed the office into self-serving positions and we need people of integrity and high moral character who are interested in public service. After serving 29 years in the United Stated military, I started this run to make a difference in this state. I have lived my life with honor and distinction and I am running for office to make a difference in my community and state. I will bring innovation to state government and out of the box thinking to help streamline government operations and provide needed tax relief to the citizens of Illinois. I tutored Micro and Macro economic to work my way through college and I understand what makes an economy tick. I will also leverage my military leadership experience to work with other legislators and reach across the isle to bring about legislative change.
What is the most important issue facing the state? How would you approach it? Inefficient and corrupt government is the most important issue facing the state. Inefficient and corrupt government drives high taxes. Many politicians will say high taxes but they don’t understand cause and effect. High taxes is not the root cause but a symptom. In order to deal with high taxes we have to evaluate the root cause. As outlined in how I would drive a balanced budget, inefficient and corrupt government is part of all 4 pillars I have identified. For this question, the main pillar effecting inefficient government is the 6,963 units of government within the state of Illinois. These redundant layers of government adds tremendous cost to the taxpayer and we see little increased benefit. We need to identify and eliminate those redundant layers of government and provide the cost benefit back to the Illinois taxpayer. Illinois has 54.27 local government units per 100,000 residents. The next state is Texas with 20.47. Illinois has over double the units of government. Cut the units of government and provide that cost savings to the tax payer.
The state’s income tax was increased to 4.95 percent in 2017. Would you try to roll it back? Why or why not? And if so, how would you roll it back? Yes, I would vote to roll back the state income tax Increase. Illinois is one of the highest taxed state in Illinois and the state of Illinois is wasting our tax dollars. The taxpayers should not have to suffer for the incompetence of state and local government. I would sponsor a bill to roll back the tax increase and work with other legislators on Illinois economic reform.
Illinois is still running a budget deficit. How should it be balanced? If cuts should be made, what programming cuts should be considered? I plan to drive Illinois fiscal reform via a multi-prong strategy that provides comprehensive tax relief and streamlines government. The approach has four pillars to bring about economic reform; 1.) Budget Prioritization (Needs vs. Wants) 2.) Reduction of Units of Gov (currently 6,995) 3.) TIF/EDGE Cuts and 4.) Pension reform (new hires have 401Ks). First, Illinois needs to identify essential expenditures and fund those necessities first. We need to cut all unnecessary expenditures like spending hundred of thousands on the relocation of prairie chickens and millions towards cable TV for prisoners. We need to cut billions in wasteful spending that exists within the “budget.” Simultaneously, we need to reduce the units of government and streamline operations. Illinois Government is the most inefficient state in the US and our citizens are paying for it via extremely high taxes. When Florida with 6 million more residents can run on 1,650 units of government why does Illinois have so many? It’s political corruption! Third, TIF and EDGE spending has gotten out of control and politicians are playing games with taxpayer’s money. The TIF and EDGE process has not brought the economic surge that was promised. TIF and EDGE spending needs to be cut by 1/3 and billions need to go back to their rightful owner, the people who earned that money- the taxpayer. Finally, we have to reform the Pension Ponzi scheme which was created by corrupt politicians to “buy” votes. Ponzi schemes eventually run out of money and we need to ensure retirement for our state workers. For all new hires we have to move towards a 401(k) like the private sector. This comprehensive multi-prong approach will put more money back into taxpayer’s pockets and will help create a balance budget, something Illinois has not had for a long time.
Campaign funding has been an issue in the last few months. Should there be changes in the state’s campaign finance rules? Why or why not? If so, what changes would you want to see? Elections should be based on ideas not who or which side has the most money. One reform would be to cap the amount of spending in races. There should be an overall economic limit placed on races within Illinois. This modification will force candidates to go door to door and meet people in order to earn votes. This face to face contact with the voters will allow candidates to talk with constituents and see what is affecting their daily lives. This will ensure people’s voices are heard by those who are suppose to represent us.