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Illinois House District 22, Democratic Primary

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The questions

All candidates were invited to respond to questionnaires, although not all chose to participate. Click on a candidate's name to see the unedited response to each question.

Biographical information & experience
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    Madigan
Madigan
Birthdate: 4/19/1942
Occupation: Attorney
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Shirley

Education:

Graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Loyola University - Chicago School of Law

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Illinois and Chicago Bar Association

Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government?

I have served as a delegate to the 1970 Constitutional Convention, state representative since 1971, I am the elected Democratic committeeman of the 13th Ward, elected Democratic State Central Committeemanfor the 3rd Confressional District. and Chairman of the central committeeman of the Democratic Party of Illinois

Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government.

My wife, Shirley, is the appointed chair of the Illinois Arts Council, My daughter, Lisa, is the elected Attorney General. My son-in-law, Jordan, is the deputy executive director of the Regional Transportation Authority.

Campaign information
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    Madigan
Madigan

Campaign headquarters: 6500 S. Pulaski Chicago IL 60629
Website: NA
Campaign manager: NA
Campaign budget: Budget is the preparatory stage
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Cook County Democratic Party, $150,000
Associated Firefighters of llinois, $50,000
Construction and General Laborers Counil of Chicago $50,000
Illinois Laborers Legislative Committee $50,000
SEIU Healthcare $50,000

What are your top priorities for your district?
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    Madigan
Madigan

My priorities include continuing to be responsive to constituent and community requsts for help with problem solving, explaining state programs and services and voting in accord with their views.

What is your top priority for the state?
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    Madigan
Madigan

My priority for Illinois continues to be enacting a budget that best matches revenues to program and reducees the backlog of unpaid bills.

For incumbents, please list your accomplishments. For challengers, what unique strengths would you bring to the job of state lawmaker?
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    Madigan
Madigan

In 2010 and 2011, we implemented reforms to the workers' compensation system and unemployment insurance trust fund, which will help keep jobs in Illinois and stabilize benefits for those out of work during these difficult economic times. We also passed critical budet reforms, overhauled McCormick Place operations and new education reforms to strenghten schools and make it easier to remove poorly performing teachers. We passed a state budget that fully funded the pensions for the fiscal year and forced the state to live within its means.

The state public employee pension system is severely underfunded and paying down the debt threatens to crowd out spending on core state services. Do you support reducing pension benefits not yet earned through a bill like SB512, which offers state workers three options for earning future pension benefits. Should police officers and firefighters be included in a reduced pension system?
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    Madigan
Madigan

Efforts to stabilize the systems began more than 10 years ago with an end to salary spiking. In 2010 we passed benefit for new employees, which is expected to save $80 billion over the long term. I am co-sponsor of SB512 and will continue to build support and address questions about constitutional defects. Generally, I believe pension laws should be uniform and consistent.

If you don't support a bill like SB512, how would you deal with the state's unfunded pension liability?
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    Madigan
Madigan

I support SB 512

Do you want the 2 percent point income tax increase to expire in 2014, as planned, or would you like to see the tax increase extended beyond 2014?
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    Madigan
Madigan

When the increase was passed it is set to expire in 2014. The increase should be allowed to expire. In that area, I have been working to ensure state government lives within its means and that state budget appropriations are consistent with state revenues and continue to do so.

Do you support any changes to the corporate income tax rate? Do you support any other changes to the state's business tax structure?
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    Madigan
Madigan

I support a review of corporate tax policy, rates and incentives. The goal of the legislature should be to find ways to create jobs to help Illinois residents back to work and restore the economy.

What should the state government do to create a more favorable business climate and to promote job growth?
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    Madigan
Madigan

The legislature recently adopted measures designed to make Illinois more attractive, keep the workers compensation system viable and put the unemployment insurance trust fund on sound footing. Futhermore, the national economy is showing signs of progress and major employers like Caterpillar are creating new jobs, expanding Illinois operations and imporing jobs from overseas.

Lay out your plan for paying the billions the state owes schools, universities, human service providers and others. Would you support borrowing to pay down those bills?
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    Madigan
Madigan

I supported to plan to borrow at historically low interst rates to pay down the bills. Partisan roadblocks stalled that plan and forced Illinois to pay more interest on unpaid bills. I supported the Fiscal Year 12 budget plan that commits excess revenue to paying bills. Futhermore a requirement in income tax increase is that a portion of the new revenue be devoted to paying down bills. By paying off the bills, we can help to stimulate the sconomy and ensure that the state vendors including health and service provider are delivering needed care to Illinois' neediest residents.

State legislative leaders are trying to give the General Assembly a role in negotiating contracts with state labor unions. What is your opinion of that?
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    Madigan
Madigan

An element of the pension defict and budget problem stem from salary plans negotiated without the General Assembly oversight. Further exacerbating the problem has been overly generous public employee contracts negotiated by previous governors. The resolution I am sponsorinHJR 45, will establish a percentage of state spending set aside for salaries. This is consistent with the General Assembly's role in budget making. I believe if it is the constitutional responsibility of the General Assembly to apprpriate state dollars, then the legislature must have a role in the process.

The legislature has tried repeatedly to expand gambling in Illinois. Do you support expanded gambling in Illinois? In what form? Do you support a Chicago casino?
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    Madigan
Madigan

Generally I am not an advocate of expanded gaming unless the operators pay a market rate fee structure and there is strong oversight to prevent corruption or unsthical practices. With those requirement, I could support a Chicago cansino.

Would you seek any changes to the state ethics and campaign finance laws? Would you support capping what state party leaders can donate during a general election?
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    Madigan
Madigan

I spearheaded passage most of the current state ethics and campaign finance laws, including caps on contributions, lobbyst rules and procurement reforms. Additional changes are constantly under study.

Until a plan can be devised that allows candidates to defend themselves from smear campaigns by unegulated entities I do not know how limits on party leaders can be enacted.

Would you back a constitutional amendment to shift from a flat income tax to a progressive income tax system?
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    Madigan
Madigan

I must see more specific details on such a proposal, including proposed rates and exemptions, before taking a position.

Do you have a plan to adequately fund schools and reform the property tax system that results in inequities?
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    Madigan
Madigan

During my time in the legislature, I have worked hard to increase funding for schools across the state, especially during difficult economic times. I will continue to make education funding a priority.

What is your view on gay marriage?
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    Madigan
Madigan

I supported legislation permitting civil unions. I support civil rights for all people and oppose discrimination. I am not aware of additional proposed legislation. Until these is specific legislation I will defer comment.

The race
The candidates
Michael J. Madigan
Michelle Piszczor

Not pictured:
Mike Rodriguez
Olivia Trejo

The district
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