suntimes
COMFY 
Weather Updates

State House, District 53

.

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
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
David Harris
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: Did not respond
Occupation: Legislator / State of Illinois
Marital status: married with two adult sons
Spouse:

Education:

Bachelor of Arts, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
US Army Command & General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, KS
Seminars at US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Chair, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Governing Council
Life Member, Assoc of US Army
Life Member, Military Officers Association of America
Life Member, National Guard Assoc of US
Life Member, National Guard Assoc of IL

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

State Representative 1983 - 1992
The Adjutant General of IL 1999-2003
(Commanding General of IL National Guard)

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

N/A

Curt Renz
Political party: Democrat
Birthdate: 12/4/1945
Occupation: Retired after 16 years as Anchor, Financial Editor & Market Analyst for Chicago based WCIU-TV's daily "Stock Market Observer" program
Marital status: Single
Spouse: N/A

Education:

BS in Business Management from Northern Illinois University - GPA 3.73
AA in Business Administration from Harper College - GPA 4.00
Graduate of Palatine Township High School
Awarded rank of sergeant after attending the US Army's NCO Candidate School

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

None

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

Never held political office
Served in Vietnam as a US Army sergeant
Many years ago briefly worked with the FAA

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

Many years ago my brother was a computer programmer for the VA.

Campaign information
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
Harris

Campaign headquarters: 800 West Central Road #117
Website: electdavidharris.com
Campaign manager:
Campaign budget:
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
STAND for Children
Illinois Retail Merchants PAC
Arlington Park Racetrack
Hotel-Motel Association PAC
AT&T

Renz

Campaign headquarters: 1310 W. Northwest Hwy., Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Website: Curt@CurtRenz.com
Campaign manager: Rob Nesvacil (volunteer)
Campaign budget: Minimal
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
None so far, unless we mention the Democrats assigning a lawyer to contest a Republican objection to my slating. My campaign is not organizing events to raise funds or seeking large campaign contributions. I wish to avoid being beholden to special interests.

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
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
Harris

I support comprehensive pension reform. I would like to see the Judges Retirement System, which is one of the five State systems, included in any reform package. I could support legislation like SB 1673. I could support a shift if the shift is phased in over a number of years so that the impact is minimized and if the shift involves normal costs going forward and not current unfunded liabilities.

Renz

Not incumbent

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

Did not respond

Renz

Not incumbent

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
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
Harris

Did not respond

Renz

Yes to both questions

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

Did not respond

Renz

N/A

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
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
Harris

I voted in favor SB 2840 which enacted the Medicaid reductions. I did not support SB 2194 which raised the cigarette/tobacco taxes and enacted property tax legislation for hospitals.

The Dept of Heathcare and Family Services needs to immediately enact the reforms passed by the legislature. There should be tighter controls on the verification of Medicaid eligibility.

Renz

Yes.
That will depend on the effect of recent reforms.

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
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
Harris

I support letting the 67% increase in the individual income tax be reduced as currently in legislation.

Renz

I would like the situation to evolve in a manner that allows it to expire in 2014. However, much depends on the situation in 2014.

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
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
Harris

The State of Illinois needs to get out of the deep financial hole into which it has been thrown. That will require reforming pensions in order to lower our unfunded liability and stabilize pension payments. We also need to pay off our $7 - $8 billion of overdue bills. This will take time, but it must be done in order to get Illinois back on solid financial footing. We should also reform our Workers Compensation program in order to be more competitive with other states. And lower property taxes. Given the many positive resources Illinois has to offer, businesses will then again look to Illinois as a friendly place to do business if we can make the necessary changes.

Renz

I believe that corporations should pay their fair share. I particularly support incentives to small and medium sized businesses, as they are the primary providers of jobs.

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

I do not believe gambling will generate the amount of revenue that the bill's sponsors claim it will. There is clearly cannibalization that takes place among the various casino operations as seen by what happened when the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines went operational. Rivers' revenue was way up while revenue at competing casinos declined. I believe the Governor made appropriate suggestions in his veto message for tightening the ethics provisions in the gambling bill.

Renz

Yes

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
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
Harris

State spending has been reduced significantly thanks to a reformed budget process. As the GOP Spokesman on the House Revenue and Finance Committee, I work closely with the Chairman of the Committee to develop the revenue estimate used to determine overall GRF appropriations. Because our financial situation is so bad and we have so many obligations, the amount spent on day-to-day State operations decreased in FY'13 by $900 million from FY'12. Spending has been restrained because we have to pay for pension, pension-related debt, old bills, health care, and other big ticket items.

Renz

More can be done. I would particularly like to see more attention given to the "Budget for Results" program. This provides for careful review of each state agency's needs and contributions, rather than automatically funding each one with the same percentage of previous budgets.

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
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
Harris

Yes, there should be limits on state party and legislative leader contributions.

Renz

I would want to see considerable limits to contributions. Zero would be a reasonable option regarding donations from party leaders.

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

No.

Renz

Yes

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
  • [ + ]
    Harris
  • [ + ]
    Renz
Harris

We now spend more on pension-related expenditures than we do on elementary and secondary education. For FY'13 the pension payment is $5.1 billion; debt on pension bonds and notes is another $1.5 billion. That totals $6.7 billion. Elementary and secondary education was funded at roughly $6. billion. We need to reform pensions and pay our back bills so that we can put money funds into education and other needed State services.

Renz

In each school district its own board must determine teachers' compensation and negotiate with unions regarding both salaries and pensions. Each board must look only at its own budget and not shift any of its costs or responsibilities to the state.

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

I support the state law that is already on the books which states that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Renz

I would not interfere with a gay couple's desire to become married.

The candidates
David Harris

David Harris

Curt Renz

Curt Renz

 

.

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