Like many of you, I am tired of Illinois being the topic of conversation on late night comedy television. Illinois has record job loss, the highest property taxes in the nation, and the number of unpaid bills and state debt continues to climb.
Before I was elected I made a pledge to the people of Illinois and I follow my pledge each day I serve. I cut my pay 10 percent, refused to accept the pension offered to lawmakers and I continue to support legislation to enact term limits on career politicians.
In order to get Illinois back on the right track my plan includes the following: 1. Elect a new Speaker of the House — not Mike Madigan; 2. Pass a balanced budget; 3. Create jobs and grow the economy; 4. Provide property tax relief for homeowners; and 5. Support a plan to fully fund our schools.
The current Speaker of the House Mike Madigan has been in office for nearly 45 years. When the Illinois House is sworn into office in January 2017, the legislature will have the opportunity to vote for a new speaker. I am the only candidate in this race who has signed a pledge to not vote for Mike Madigan as Speaker of the House. Nothing becomes law or is sent to the governor’s desk without the blessing from the speaker. It’s time for a change.
State government can’t continue kicking the can down the road. We need a balanced budget now. Earlier this year I voted to stop Madigan’s $7 billion budget deficit, and I support a plan that balances the budget without a tax hike.
The key component to funding a balanced budget without a tax hike is jobs. We need to grow our economy and this starts with making our state competitive with Missouri and our border states. As a businessman for over 40 years, I know how to create jobs and I have a plan to create jobs and grow our economy.
Since our state has the highest property taxes in the nation, the legislature must stop passing unfunded mandates which lead to higher property taxes locally. I am committed to working on a solution and won’t give up fighting for property tax relief.
Furthermore, Chicago politicians want to keep bailing out their failing schools at our expense — not on my watch. I opposed S.B. 231 that will take $20 million away from metro-east schools to bail out Chicago. This year I secured more money for our schools. However, we need to change the school funding formula so metro-east schools are not shortchanged in the future.
As your state representative I pledge to continue to support the passage of a balanced budget, will push for legislation to create jobs, enact term limits, support property tax relief, fight to fully fund our schools, and I won’t vote for Mike Madigan as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. I ask for your vote on Nov. 8.