suntimes
DROPPING 
Weather Updates

State House, District 56

.

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
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
John R. Lawson
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: 2/8/1962
Occupation: Police Officer
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Laura

Education:

B.A., Criminal and Social Justice, Lewis University
M.S., Criminal and Social Justice, Lewis University

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Kiwanis
Metropolitan Alliance of Police

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

Township of Schaumburg, Assessor, 2004-Present
Village of Roselle Police Department, Detective Sergeant

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

Village of Roselle Police Department, Detective Sergeant

Michelle Mussman
Political party: Democrat
Birthdate: Did not respond
Occupation:
Marital status:
Spouse:

Education:

NULL

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

NULL

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

NULL

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

NULL

Campaign information
  • [ + ]
    ALL
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
Lawson

Campaign headquarters: 808 E Nerge Rd, Roselle, IL 60172
Website: www.electjohnlawson.com
Campaign manager: Stephen Rossi
Campaign budget: TBD
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.

Mussman

Campaign headquarters:
Website:
Campaign manager:
Campaign budget:
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
NULL

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
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
Lawson

Did not respond

Mussman

NULL

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

Did not respond

Mussman

NULL

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
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
Lawson

I would not support a bill like SB1673, because it penalizes retirees who have earned and needed their pensions, and they may not be able to re-enter the job market.

Mussman

NULL

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

Did not respond

Mussman

NULL

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
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
Lawson

There needs to be additional Medicaid reform. While the General Assembly passed substantial measures in the Spring, cutting $1.6 billion from Medicaid in order to avoid a $21 billion avalanche in 2017, more can be done. It is estimated that Medicaid fraud costs the state up to $1 billion a year. These are funds that could be used to get us back on a solid financial footing.

Mussman

NULL

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
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
Lawson

In these tough economic times, I support the repeal of the 67% income tax increase on individuals and 46% increase on corporations. I would vote to repeal this unjust increase, which is hurting families and businesses alike. On average, it takes, on average, about $1,000 annually from our families' budgets. I do not think that is right and we need to get those dollars back to our hard working taxpayers. In addition, I will oppose any effort to extend, or make permanent, the temporary income tax increase. The income tax increase, passed by the Democrats in Springfield last year, has done an incredible amount of damage to our economy. Immediately after its passage, businesses started to relocate elsewhere. As a result, our unemployment rate has only gone up.

Mussman

NULL

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
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
Lawson

Illinois needs to make a number of changes in the way it operates, in order to attract new employers and create stable jobs. To begin this process, the State of Illinois needs to take immediate action to get its finances in order. The high rate of taxation on individuals and businesses is literally driving jobs out of our state. I support legislation like SB397 which creates a competitive tax environment in Illinois which allows business to thrive, so they can protect current positions and create new jobs. In addition, legislators in Springfield do not seem to have a problem spending other people's money. They continue to spend our hard-earned dollars without regard to the harm they are causing the state's long term future. This is wrong and it has to stop now. Just like our household budgets, the state needs to live within its means. It will not be easy, but we need lawmakers who will have the courage to make the tough decisions on what the people's money is spent on. Once Illinois has a plan in action with its spending under control, we can look to reduce costs on the state's long-term debt and come to an acceptable solution for the state's unfunded pension liability. With these solutions in place, businesses will again be attracted to Illinois as a beacon for businesses in the Midwest. Our unemployment rate will begin to drop and as a result, state revenues will begin to climb, putting Illinois back on the road to prosperity.

Mussman

NULL

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

Yes.

Mussman

NULL

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
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
Lawson

There needs to be additional Medicaid reform. While the General Assembly passed substantial measures in the Spring, cutting $1.6 billion from Medicaid in order to avoid a $21 billion avalanche in 2017, more can be done. It is estimated that Medicaid fraud costs the state up to $1 billion a year. These are funds that could be used to get us back on a solid financial footing. In addition to cutting out Medicaid fraud, there needs to be substantial welfare reform. This would require ID verification of those using welfare mechanisms such as LINK cards, to make sure assistance for those in need is going to the right seniors, families, and children. This could potentially save the state hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Given our dire budget situation, the State of Illinois needs to institute PAYGO (Pay As You GO) budgeting, meaning that any department or agency that wants to increase spending, needs to identify another area of the budget that will be cut, to offset the spending increase. The State of Illinois needs to sell its fleet of executive airplanes. The fleet is valued at around $22 million dollars and cost $6 million to operate and maintain the planes in FY2011 alone. Currently, IDOT operates shuttles between Chicago and Springfield on a daily basis. This is a luxury our state can no longer afford. Along with the state's airplane fleet, there needs to be a review of transportation costs. Old, inefficient vehicles will need to be sold or scrapped, and any new vehicle purchases will have to focus on economy and environmental impact. Clearly, there would be exceptions made for agencies like emergency management and the State Police.

Mussman

NULL

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
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
Lawson

Yes, given the history of political corruption in this state, Illinois can always do more to regulate campaign fundraising. While there was substantial campaign finance reform implemented at the beginning of last year, there are loopholes that can still be closed. Specifically, there needs to be limitations placed on the amount that political parties and legislative caucuses can give to candidates in both the Primary and General Elections. While many incumbents are able to raise little to no money on their own, their respective party organizations can give unlimited amounts, tipping the scales in favor of the incumbent.

Mussman

NULL

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

No.

Mussman

NULL

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
  • [ + ]
    Lawson
  • [ + ]
    Mussman
Lawson

Did not respond

Mussman

NULL

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

My wife Laura and I have been married for 25 years, and we have two grown sons together. While I believe in the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, I support some aspects of civil unions in Illinois.

Mussman

NULL

The candidates
John R. Lawson

John R. Lawson

Michelle Mussman

Michelle Mussman

 

.

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