In preparation for the March 18 Primary Election, Suburban Life Media contacted local candidates to gauge their views on various issues. Below are the responses received from Jeanne Ives, who is running in the Republican race for Illinois House District 42. Ives’ opponent, Adam Johnson, did not respond to Suburban Life’s questionnaire before print deadline. Some answers have been edited for length.
Position: Republican incumbent
Education: Bachelor of science in economics from West Point
Employment: State representative
Why are you seeking re-election?
Ives: I am running for re-election to continue to give taxpayers a voice in Springfield. They are an underrepresented group in committee meetings and debates. In my first term, I have established myself as a policy-oriented representative.
What do you count as your biggest accomplishments in Springfield?
Ives: I helped defeat bills that would kick our problems down the road while also using my knowledge of the issues to aid the passage of good bills.
What are the biggest differences between yourself and your opponent?
Ives: I have the background to fully engage in the policy debates facing Illinois. My degree in economics, tax and accounting work and time on Wheaton City Council give me the tools to impact policy. As a mother of five, I understand well the concerns of families and the pressures they face financially.
What is the biggest challenge facing Springfield and what would you do to address it?
Ives: Our state’s history and reputation of corruption and pay to play politics create a climate where taxpayers, businesses, and those who rely on government services feel taken advantage of by politicians … The only way to address this corruption is to expose it and prosecute offenders, so voters can make more informed decisions.
Do you support the recent state pension reform bill and why?
Ives: I voted for the May 2013 pension reform bill as a first step in reform. This revised bill, though, is not a first step and asks taxpayers to fund generous pensions for government workers still retiring before the age of 60 while asking employees to contribute less to their own retirement. We need to modernize our retirement system to align with private sector retirement plans.
How would you improve the business climate in Illinois?
Ives: Illinois must arrest its debt, budget, and regulatory problems. Government must get leaner at all levels so taxes can stabilize or decrease. High taxes, regulation and costs of living were cited as reasons not to locate here by business groups. Among other things, we need public sector labor reform, worker’s compensation reform, and a free market approach to our Medicaid system.
Why should voters vote for you?
Ives: I care about the individual taxpayers. I care about keeping families together – not driving our young talent out of the state. I have a record of accomplishment as a freshman legislator. I am a voice for my district in Springfield and together we will hold Illinois to a higher standard.