Q&A in 102nd District

Q&A in 102nd District

Legislative candidates were given the chance to submit answers to a questionnaire. Here, the answers from state Rep. Adam Brown, seeking the GOP nod in the 102nd Illinois House District (His opponent, Rob Roman, did not submit responses):

 


Adam Brown

friendsofadambrown@gmail.com

08/14/1985

State Representative, Farmer

Republican

Illinois State Representative, Decatur City Councilman

State Representative

102nd House District
 
1. Would you vote to reduce retirement benefits to current state employees, or to require increased employee contributions by those employees in order to reduce long-term state obligations to the pension systems? Explain your decision.
I would not vote to reduce the retirement benefits of current state employees. Pension benefits are a constitutionally protected contract. The pension funding crisis has been created by years of underfunding by previous Governors and General Assemblies. Our pension system is not in trouble because of any action by current employees. They paid into the system and deserve their pensions.
 
2. Would you ever vote to take a “pension holiday,” or not to fully fund the state's retirement systems?
No, I would not vote for a “pension holiday” or to not fully fund the state’s retirement systems. Pension holidays and chronic underfunding of the state’s required pension payments led to the current crisis.
 
3. Would you support the proposed increase in the state cigarette tax from 98 cents a pack to $1.98 a pack to help cut into the state budget deficit?
No. I will oppose any attempt to increase taxes.
4. Would you support more limited eligibility standards for Medicaid that would reduce the number of Medicaid recipients in Illinois, as well as cut state costs?
Yes. One of my top priorities as State Representative is to reform our budget process and put a stop to the over-taxing and over-spending in Springfield. Illinois is facing serious fiscal challenges and we cannot continue to borrow and spend our way into bankruptcy.
 
I’m running for State Representative to bring accountability back to Illinois. I’m a fiscal conservative who is working to make state government efficient and accountable to the taxpayers. To truly balance the state budget, we need real Medicaid and welfare reform.
Medicaid is one of the fastest-growing segments of the State budget. Both Medicaid enrollments and spending have more than doubled over the last decade and Medicaid now takes up one-third of the State’s general funds budget.

It is imperative that Illinois slows the growth in Medicaid. Last year, House Republicans advanced a Medicaid reform package that would save Illinois taxpayers $800 million. We then formed a Medicaid working group that went through the Human Services budget line by line and advanced a plan that will save taxpayers an additional $215 million through reform measures such as:

• Capping eligibility for Family Care,

• Authorizing a small co-payment for Medicaid clients using emergency rooms for non-emergency purposes, and

• Adjusting payment rates for hospitals that re-admit patients an excessive number of times for preventable causes.

Unfortunately, some of the key Medicaid reforms passed last year were rejected by the Obama Administration. These reforms include verifying the income eligibility and residency of Medicaid recipients. Illinois must be allowed to implement these reforms. We must focus on reducing the fraud in the Medicaid system. Altogether, these Medicaid reforms would save taxpayers over $1 billion.

Illinois should expand managed care to Medicaid recipients. Most families with health care coverage are in managed care plans, which focus on preventive medicine and cost containment. Persons enrolled in Medicaid, which is taxpayer-funded, should also be in managed care.

The General Assembly needs to pass real welfare reform, such as requiring photo IDs on LINK cards (food stamps), requiring drug testing of welfare recipients and removing illegal immigrants from our welfare rolls. I am sponsoring legislation to accomplish these goals. Eliminating the fraud in our welfare system would save taxpayers $500 million.
 

5. Would you support extending the current “temporary” state income tax increase beyond 2015, as a University of Illinois report has suggested, in order to help get the state out of its financial problems by as soon as 2019?

No. I want to repeal the Democrats’ 67 percent income tax increase. I am a co-sponsor of House Bill 175, which would repeal the tax increase.
6. Would you vote for expanded gambling in Illinois, including but not limited to casinos in both Chicago and Danville?
I do not support expanded gambling in Illinois. I voted against Senate Bill 744, last year’s massive gambling expansion bill.
 
7. Would you support slot machines at racetracks in order to improve the state's horse racing industry?
No.
 
8. Would you support legalized online gaming in Illinois, including the online sale of state lottery tickets?
No.

9. Would you support broadening the Illinois income tax to include retirement and Social Security income?

No.
10. Would you vote to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois?
Yes.

11. Do you favor expanding Illinois' sales tax to include services?

No.
12. Would you vote for term limits for all legislators? If so, how many years should an Illinois lawmaker be allowed to serve?
I believe elections are the best term limits. Illinois House members are up for election every two years. If voters feel that their legislator is not doing a good job, they can vote them out of office.
I would support term limits for legislative leaders. Chicago Democrat Speaker Michael Madigan has been in power for nearly 30 years. That is far too long for one man to control the process in Springfield.
 
13. Would you vote to permit the carrying of concealed weapons in Illinois?
I co-sponsored and voted for concealed carry legislation.
I am thrilled to be endorsed by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), which gave me an “A” rating for my strong support of Second Amendment gun rights. As a farmer and a proud NRA member, I am strong supporter of our Second Amendment gun rights. As a co-sponsor of concealed carry legislation, I am working to ensure our citizens have the right to defend their families and property from violent criminals. 

I am a co-sponsor of House Bill 148, the Family and Personal Protection Act, which would establish statewide standards for the issuance of licenses to carry concealed firearms in Illinois. HB 148 failed last year on a vote of 65-52-1, due to the ruling by Chicago Democrat Speaker Michael Madigan that the bill needed a three-fifths majority (71 votes) to pass. I believe HB 148 will be called for another vote in the House, where he will again vote ‘Yes’ for concealed carry.

I was chief co-sponsor of House Bill 3500, which adds an exemption to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act protecting the personal information of Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card holders. The bill prohibits state or local law enforcement agencies from publicly releasing the names or other private information of FOID Card holders. HB 3500 was signed into law as Public Act 97-080.
The privacy and safety of law-abiding gun owners and their families should not be jeopardized simply because they have chosen to comply with Illinois’ FOID Card requirement. We took action to prevent the release of this personal information, to help protect Illinois gun owners.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing a gun registration bill that would place a large fee on all guns owned in Illinois. Chicago Democrats are also attempting to ban semi-automatic firearms used by hunters and sport shooters and to limit the purchase of firearms statewide.

The Chicago Democrats continue to push radical, gun-grabbing legislation in Springfield. I oppose the anti-gun agenda of the Chicago Democrats and will continue to stand up for the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners. 
 

14. Do you support any further reforms in Illinois' campaign finance and disclosure laws?

Yes. I believe campaign contribution limits should be imposed on political parties and funds controlled by House and Senate leadership. These regulations should apply in both the Primary and General Election so that the playing field is level for all candidates.
SB 1466 (P.A. 96-832) regulates the influence of all parties interested in campaign finance except for legislative leaders and political parties. The legislation was sold as a “campaign finance reform” bill, but the reality is the legislation was an incumbency protection tool for Speaker Madigan, who serves both as the leader of the House Democratic Caucus and as the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois.
 
15. Would you support legislation requiring voters to show a photo identification card?
Yes. I will support efforts to reduce voter fraud.

16. Would you vote to abolish the Illinois General Assembly scholarship program?

Yes.
17. Would you favor a program to release non-violent offenders from state prison in order to reduce the prison population and cut costs?
No. Governor Quinn’s disastrous MGT Push early release program let violent criminals back out on our streets and in many cases, these criminals committed new violent crimes. I would not trust the Quinn Administration to implement an early release program for non-violent offenders.
18. Would you support legislation requiring recipients of SNAP (food stamp) benefits to show a photo identification card?
Yes. I am a co-sponsor of House Bill 10 and House Bill 161. 
As I said earlier, the General Assembly needs to pass real welfare reform, such as requiring photo IDs on LINK cards (food stamps), requiring drug testing of welfare recipients and removing illegal immigrants from our welfare rolls. I am sponsoring legislation to accomplish these goals. Eliminating the fraud in our welfare system would save taxpayers $500 million. 
 
19. Would you support legislation that would restrict the purchase of certain foods, such as high-fat snacks and sweetened soft drinks, with SNAP cards?
Yes, I would support House Bill 1399 or similar legislation to ban the purchase of junk food with LINK/SNAP cards. Childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, causing dangerous and costly long-term health problems. Taxpayer dollars should not be used to purchase junk food.
20. Would you support the general election, rather than the gubernatorial appointment, of members of the University of Illinois board of trustees?
Yes. As an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I strongly support electing the Board of Trustees. The Blagojevich and Quinn Administrations packed the Board with questionable appointees, who then voted to remove the time-honored symbol of our University, Chief Illiniwek. I believe an elected Board of Trustees would be more accountable to the voters/taxpayers.
21. Do you believe that the state needs to markedly consolidate the approximately 880 school districts in Illinois?
I believe school consolidation is a local control issue. While I do believe we need to consolidate and reduce the number of school districts in the state, those decisions should be made at the local level by the citizens impacted by such decisions.
22. What steps should the state take to improve its business climate?
In order to attract businesses and create private sector jobs, Illinois must first get its fiscal house in order. The State cannot continue to over-tax, over-borrow and over-spend. More than anything, businesses want stability from state government. Illinois needs to truly balance its budget and reduce its long-term debt. A balanced budget will provide economic stability and encourage businesses to create and retain good-paying jobs. The way to increase revenues in Illinois is to make our economy more competitive with neighboring states as well as with foreign countries.

Unfortunately, there are some serious obstacles that stand in the way of progress in creating jobs for Illinoisans. Our tort liability laws are anti-business and anti-growth. Workers’ compensation insurance costs cause many businesses to look to neighboring states for friendlier business climates. And our regulatory agencies are slow to respond to businesses’ needs.

As State Representative, I am working tirelessly to improve our business climate to attract employers and good-paying jobs to Illinois. I support passage of real workers’ compensation reform that includes a causation (primary cause) requirement. I support economic incentives for job creation and retention, such as those tax incentives passed in Senate Bill 397. And I want to put an end to the over-taxing and over-regulating of our small businesses.
In an effort to protect Illinois jobs and provide tax relief to our businesses and working families, I voted to pass a jobs/tax relief package during the fall Veto Session.

Senate Bill 397 (P.A. 97-636), the omnibus jobs/tax relief package, passed the House on a vote of 81-28-7. It included the following provisions:

• Extends the Research and Development tax credit for five years, with an additional five year carry forward; the R & D tax credit is a critical component for Illinois manufacturers

• Reinstates the Net Operating Loss Deduction, which allows businesses the ability to carry their losses forward in a tough economy; this provision will help an estimated 36,000 small businesses

• Increases the estate tax exemption from $2 million to $4 million over a two-year period, lessening the tax burden on family farmers and small business owners

• Extends for five years the sales tax exemptions, credits, and deductions granted to agri-fuels

• Extends numerous jobs tax credits, including the Veterans Jobs Credit.

• Extends the Sears EDA and provides Sears with EDGE tax credits

• Alters the way the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and other exchanges can source their revenue in Illinois
Senate Bill 397 was a broad-based approach designed to help Illinois compete in the national and global marketplaces. The legislation was supported by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois and many other groups.

I am proud to be endorsed by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce PAC and Illinois Farm Bureau Activator. I am also supported by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (Manufacturers PAC), the Illinois Association of Realtors (RPAC) and the Illinois Merchants PAC.

 

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