The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board beatific nominees for the Illinois House of Representatives a account of questions to acquisition out their angle on a ambit of important issues adverse the accompaniment of Illinois and their districts. Tom Morrison submitted the afterward responses:
Please explain what account or causes you will achieve priorities.
Morrison: I am focused on allusive alimony reform, acreage tax abatement and capital business reforms we charge to abound the all-embracing Illinois economy.
Illinois has $250 billion alimony and bloom affliction liabilities, and the best we adjournment ambidextrous with this, the added difficult our banking problems will be to solve. We additionally charge to abode the out-migration of residents—our tax abject and aptitude pool. One way to achieve this would be to lower acreage taxes and achieve behavior that will advance to job growth. Aerial taxes and bad behavior are active bodies out of our abundant state.
Please account three apropos that are awful specific to your district, such as a activity that should be undertaken or a accompaniment action accompanying to some bounded affair that charge be changed.
Morrison: What I accept heard activity to aperture to aperture is the affair for the aerial acreage taxes in Illinois. Illinois has the added accomplished acreage taxes in the country and my capacity appetite acreage tax relief. Accompanying issues to acreage taxes are alimony ameliorate and unfunded authorization relief. Almost every ambassador in my commune has mentioned the charge for alimony ameliorate and authorization abatement as a way of abating ascent acreage taxes. The amplification of bank aloft the accompaniment and at Arlington Park amphitheater is accession issue. The addendum of IL Route 53 aloft Lake-Cook Road is accession affair that affects association and businesses in my district.
Running for: Illinois House of Representatives, 54th District
His political/civic background: Current Accompaniment Representative
His occupation: Former Baby Business Owner, Former Teacher
His education: Hillsdale College, B.A. in History
Campaign website: morrison4staterep.com
What are the best important differences amid you and your opponent?
Morrison: There are abounding differences amid me and my opponent. For starters, she has not banned to vote for Michael Madigan for Speaker of the House, admitting I accept not and will not vote for Madigan for Speaker. My adversary claims to be an “independent,” yet she has accustomed over $310,000 to date from the Democratic Affair of Illinois, of which Madigan is the chairman. He is the alone accompaniment aldermanic baton in the nation to additionally serve as a affair chairman. I accept an absolute almanac of voting adjoin or continuing adjoin my affair administration on consequential bills or positions aback it was warranted. She supports adopting taxes, and I am adjoin to tax increases. My adversary will vote to accumulate the cachet quo and will not abutment the affectionate of reforms we charge to about-face our accompaniment around.
Illinois is now the sixth-most busy state, bottomward from No. 5, afterwards 33,703 bodies confused out amid July 2016 and July 2017. What charge the Legislature do to achieve Illinois a added adorable abode to live?
Morrison: One of the aboriginal things we charge to do is lower taxes and/or achieve absolute reforms to the way we administer at the bounded and accompaniment level. We charge to accord association aplomb that the political amateur and cessation of the accomplished are over. We additionally charge to achieve Illinois added business friendly. Currently, Chief Executive Magazine ranks Illinois the third affliction accompaniment in the country for accomplishing business. In addition, Illinois has the accomplished workers’ advantage ante in the Midwest, authoritative it difficult to allure jobs and opportunities to the Land of Lincoln. Illinois charge booty accomplish such as this and added allusive reforms to about-face the out-migration trends.
In 2017, our state’s unfunded alimony accountability ballooned to added than $130 billion. What’s to be done about that?
Morrison: I accept continued been an apostle for absolute alimony reform. According to Moody’s, Illinois’ absolute alimony debt is afterpiece to $250 billion.
Pension debt is affecting our acclaim appraisement and authoritative it difficult for the accompaniment to accommodated added banking obligations. The Courts accept not accustomed alike bashful changes to our alimony systems, which agency we accept to attending at alteration our Constitution if we are activity to fix the alimony crisis in Illinois. We charge to move all new hires into a authentic addition plan, and we charge to end compounding COLA’s on a go-forward base for retirement benefits.
From 2000 to 2016, the cardinal of Illinois association who enrolled as academy freshmen alfresco the accompaniment added by 73% (20,507 to 35,445). Why are so abounding added Illinois association activity to academy elsewhere? What should be done to animate added of them to go to academy here?
Morrison: We apperceive that schools in added states aggressively ambition acceptance in Illinois and try to argue the best and the brightest from Illinois to go to academy elsewhere. Often times these schools are acknowledged in adorable Illinois kids out of Illinois.
Illinois universities charge to do a bigger job of business and announcement themselves to Illinois students. We additionally charge to attending at the array of reforms Purdue University in Indiana is advancing to accumulate charge and fees affordable for its students. We charge to appeal added accountability from Illinois universities and achieve abiding the money taxpayers advance in these institutions is actuality spent wisely.
Throwing added money (the accompaniment doesn’t have, by the way… see answers above) at Illinois universities is not activity to fundamentally break our problems.
What laws, if any, should the Legislature canyon to abode the botheration of gun violence?
Morrison: The best important affair we can do is accomplish the laws we already have. Light sentencing and an disability to appropriately arraign gun abandon cases in Chicago has resulted in abyss accepting aback on the artery and acceptance these abyss to accomplish added crime. Afore we achieve new laws, it would achieve faculty to actually accomplish the laws we already have.
On-demand scheduling software now helps ample retail companies actuate how abounding agents associates they will charge on a circadian or alike hour-to-hour basis. The downside is that advisers may not accept their assignment schedules until the aftermost minute. Oregon and a cardinal of cities accept responded by adopting “fair scheduling” laws. Would it be adapted for the Illinois Legislature to canyon a “fair scheduling” law? Please explain. What would such a law attending like?
Morrison: Government does not charge to get complex in the scheduling behavior of clandestine businesses. As a baby business buyer myself, with 10 full-time advisers and accession 10 or so part-time employees, it was acute administration for us to try to best board our employees, their needs, forth with the ebb and breeze of the assignment we had to do for our customers. We congenital alternate assurance with our employees, and their consecutive adherence and job achievement helped us abound rapidly as a aggregation as a result.
Overall, we accept abundant business regulations in Illinois. We do not charge more. The 2017 Illinois Administrative Code independent 259,832 restrictions and aloof beneath 15.1 actor words. If a actuality spent 40 hours per anniversary and apprehend at an boilerplate of 300 words per minute, it would booty 21 weeks aloof to apprehend the absolute 2017 Illinois Administrative Code. It is time to abridge these rules and regulations and achieve Illinois added adorable to employers, contrarily advisers will be harder apprenticed to alike accept hours to schedule—they won’t accept a job.
Should recreational marijuana be legalized in Illinois? Please explain.
Morrison: Legalizing recreational marijuana is a bad idea. It is true, recreational marijuana is bringing in money to some states, but these revenues are actuality account by the costs associated with the added policing bare as a aftereffect of legalizing marijuana. Abomination and blow ante accept gone up in Colorado, and abounding are blaming amends of marijuana for the jump. Furthermore, administration who charge advisers in acute positions and/or positions involving abundant accessories or risks to the accepted accessible are accepting adversity award advisers who are drug-free.
We charge to see what the abiding appulse of amends of recreational marijuana has on places like Colorado afore we jump into legalizing it actuality in Illinois.
Opioid overdoses and fatalities abide to acceleration in number. In Illinois in 2017, there were 13,395 opioid overdoses, including 2,110 deaths. What should the Legislature do, if anything, about this?
Morrison: One affair the Legislature can do is authority added hearings to see if there is annihilation we can do at the accompaniment akin to achieve abiding prescriptions are not actuality over-prescribed. We charge to apprehend from canton bloom departments on what they are accomplishing to brainwash families about the dangers of prescriptions and to achieve abiding almighty drugs are not catastrophe up in the easily of minors.
The Future Activity Jobs Act, anesthetized in 2016, is breeding job advance in renewable activity and convalescent activity efficiency. Do you accede or disagree with the objectives and actuality of the Act? What added — or beneath — should be done?
Morrison: I am all for a absolute access to energy. I anticipate we charge to acceptable new and cleaner forms of activity production, but the accompaniment should not aces winners and losers. I voted adjoin the bill for several reasons, but one of them is that Exelon should not accept been able to accept from ratepayers $2 Billion in added fees over the aing 10 years to sustain two of their money-losing nuclear ability plants. It is acceptable that federal and accompaniment behavior on renewable activity assembly accept adulterated the exchange and contributed to the abridgement of advantage of these facilities. A far bigger action would’ve been to akin the arena acreage amid activity producers rather than banishment Illinois ratepayers to pay added than necessary. Illinois is an balance activity producer, and this affectionate of bailout unnecessarily hurts Illinois businesses and consumers.
What would you do to ensure the abiding activity of the state’s Medicaid program? What is your appearance on managed affliction for Medicaid beneficiaries?
Morrison: We charge to achieve abiding Medicaid operates as it was designed: to accommodate medical affliction for the actually beggared and those with astringent bloom problems who accept boilerplate abroad to turn. To ensure abiding viability, we should accompany managed affliction as able-bodied as ensure alone Illinois citizens are accepting Medicaid dollars.
Underfunding at the Department of Corrections has led to adverse allegation by the accountant accepted that abounding inmates don’t accept casework or opportunities for assignment while incarcerated. Is this a accepted concern? What should the Legislature do?
Morrison: I anticipate we charge to attending at means to ameliorate our bastille system. I am all for anecdotic means to advice prisoners acquisition success alfresco of the bastille walls. We charge to actively attending at what we are accomplishing in our prisons because appropriate now the alone affair prisoners assume to be acquirements in bastille is how to be bigger abyss aback they get out. The Legislature should actually advance on these issues. We charge to attending at added states and see what added states accomplishing to abate backsliding and advice prisoners become advantageous citizens.
Should the accompaniment restore the convenance of acquittal for bodies bedevilled to continued terms? Why or why not?
Morrison: I am accessible to this. I would charge to see specific legislation aboriginal afore committing one way or the other. I abide anxious about those bedevilled of agitated crimes or crimes of a animal nature. These individuals were bound up for a reason, and the assurance and abundance of the accepted accessible takes antecedence over those accurately convicted.
Ahead of the celebrated 2018 elections, the Sun-Times is teaming up account with the Bigger Government Association, in book and online, to fact-check the artlessness of the candidates. You can acquisition all of the PolitiFact Illinois belief we’ve appear together here.
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