suntimes
CHOPPY 
Weather Updates

State House, District 35

.

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
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Ricardo A. Fernandez
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: 4/18/1966
Occupation: Physical therapist
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Gina

Education:

Oak Lawn Community High School 1980 to 1982
Evergreen Park High School- 1982 to 1984
Moraine Valley Community College- Associates of Science degree in 1987
University of Illinois at Chicago- Bachelors of Science degree in physical therapy in 1989
University of Indianapolis- Master of Health Science degree in physical therapy in 1992
Nova Southeastern University- PhD in physical therapy in 2007

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Endowment Member of NRA
Life Member of Illinois State Rifle Association
Associate Member of the Fraternal Order of Police
American Physical Therapy Association
Illinois Physical Therapy Association
National Strength and Conditioning Association
North American Spine Society
Health Volunteers Overseas
Sons of the American Legion in Tinley Park, Squad 615
Honor Flight Chicago
Land of Lincoln Honor Flight
Soldiers Guardian Angels
Patriot Guard Riders
Volunteer with many organizations including Public Action to Deliver Shelter "PADS"(Sacred Heart Church), Habitat for Humanity (Georgia, Haiti), Global Medical Brigade (Honduras), Health Volunteers Overseas (Peru, Ethiopia), and Honor Flight Chicago (11 flights serving as a guardian)

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

Appointed to serve on the Illinois Physical Therapy Licensing and Disciplinary Board and have served since May 5, 2009.

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

None

Campaign information
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

Campaign headquarters: Citizens for Ricardo A. Fernandez P.O. Box 150 Palos Park, IL 60464
Website: www.ricardoafernandez.com
Campaign manager:
Campaign budget: $3,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Have not yet formed a campaign committee or solicited any campaign contributions.

For incumbents: In either the fall veto session or in January, will you support a bill like SB1673? That bill cuts pension costs for four of five state pension systems by making state workers and retirees choose between keeping state-subsidized health insurance or an automatic 3 percent annual pension hike during retirement. Do you support the element of the bill that shifts employer pension costs from the state to local school districts?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

NA

If you don't support a bill like SB1673, what is your plan for rescuing the state's pension systems?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

NA

For challengers or candidates for an open seat: If there is no action on pension reform in the fall veto session or in early January, would you support a bill like SB1673 in the next legislative session? That bill cuts pension costs for four of five state pension systems by making state workers and retirees choose between keeping state-subsidized health insurance or an automatic 3 percent annual pension hike during retirement. Do you support the element of the bill that shifts employer pension costs from the state to local school districts?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

No. I do not support plans to burden the homeowners with further property tax increases to fix a problem that was caused by the politicians who refused to fund the pension program. Property taxes are high enough and homeowners are already struggling to keep their homes. I look at property taxes as a tax on the American dream. The accumulated tax burden is too high in Illinois. For example, there is a home in my village of Orland Park where the property taxes are already over $52,000 a year.

If you don't support a bill like SB1673, what is your plan for rescuing the state's pension systems?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

I would support a bill similar to SB1673 as long as the pension costs are not shifted to the local school districts.

For all candidates: Do you support the Medicaid reform package passed last spring, including $1.6 billion in cuts and rate reductions and an increase in the cigarette tax? What else, if anything, needs to done to ensure the health of the state's Medicaid system?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

We need to manage our limited resources more effectively. Medicaid enrollment in Illinois will increase to 4.5 million by 2019 which is three times more than it was a decade ago. The results from the Affordable Care Act are coming to Illinois and we cannot afford to give away free cell phones and free rides for everyone on Medicaid as stipulated in the law, for example. We also need lawsuit abuse reform to control escalating health care costs. Medicaid currently reimburses doctors so poorly that many doctors cannot afford to take any more patients on Medicaid.

Do you support letting the 2 percent point income tax increase expire in 2014 as planned, or would you like to see the tax increase extended beyond 2014?        
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

I will work to repeal the personal income tax increase immediately.

Do you support any changes to the corporate income tax rate? Do you support any other changes to the state's business tax structure? What should the state government do to create a more favorable business climate and to promote job growth?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

We can promote job growth, assist businesses, and attract new businesses to the state by lowering the corporate income tax rate for all businesses in Illinois, not just a select few. On January 12, 2011 the corporate income tax rate increased from 4.8% to 7% and these are not set to expire until 2025. This tax increase needs to be repealed if we are going to remain competitive with our neighboring states.

Do you support the gambling package Gov. Quinn vetoed at the end of August? If not, how could it be improved?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

I support the use of local VFW posts running video gaming because the receipts from video gaming will help our state, local municipalities and our veterans.

Over the last few years, the state Legislature has begun to bring spending in line with revenues by cutting spending in education, health care, social services and other areas. Has the state Legislature done enough to reduce spending and run government more efficiently? What more could be done? Are there any areas where you would like to see greater state investment?
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

Illinois has the lowest credit rating among all of the other states because of "weak management practices." Our elected officials need to be more accountable to our taxpayers.

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?        
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

No. I don't support capping state party leaders' donations.

Would you back a constitutional amendment to shift from a flat income tax to a progressive income tax system?         
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

I will not support a shift to a progressive income tax.

Do you have a plan to reform Illinois' school finance system so that it no longer produces inequities in school funding across the state?        
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

In 2011 the average operating expenses per pupil in Illinois were $11,537. The expenses ranged between a low of $6,061 to a high of $26,225 per pupil. There are and will continue to be operating expense inequities inherent in the system based on many factors. There is no evidence that equal spending will mean equal outcomes.

What is your view on gay marriage?     
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Fernandez
Fernandez

I respect the sacred institution of marriage and believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

The candidates
Ricardo A. Fernandez

Ricardo A. Fernandez

Frances Ann Hurley

Frances Ann Hurley

 

.

The district
Loading...
Loading...
Latest News Videos
© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.

Comments  Click here to view or make a comment