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):
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?
9. Would you support broadening the Illinois income tax to include retirement and Social Security income?
11. Do you favor expanding Illinois' sales tax to include services?
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?
16. Would you vote to abolish the Illinois General Assembly scholarship program?
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.