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State House, District 58

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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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    Shaw
Mark L. Shaw
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: 3/18/1961
Occupation: Founder/Attorney: Shaw Law Ltd., Attorney: Seyfarth Shaw and Winston & Strawn; Manager/Pharmacist: Hook Drugs, Assistant Manager/Pharmacist: Revco, and Pharmacist: Walgreens and Lake Bluff Pharmacy.
Marital status: married
Spouse: Husband to Lynn for almost 22-1/2 years and father of A.J. for eleven years.

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Purdue University
School of Pharmacy, and Doctor of Jurisprudence, Indiana University School of Law. Licensed Pharmacist (Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky), Licensed Attorney (Illinois, D.C., Wisconsin, U.S. Supreme Court, 2 U.S. Courts of Appeal and 5 U.S. District Courts), Certified Guardian ad litem and Child Representative, and Arbitrator.

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Lake Forest Plan Commissioner,
Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Lions Club, Lafayette Kiwanis Club, Lake Forest Open Lands
Association, Lake Forest Cub Scouts Pack 48 Cub Master, Lake Forest AYSO Coach, Lake Forest Caucus Executive Committee, Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Navy League, Ann Kiley Developmental Center Human Rights Commissioner, Lake County Teen Court Judge/Advisory Board, 30-year Republican Party volunteer and manager for numerous campaigns, Waukegan and West Deerfield Townships Republican Precinct Committeeman and West Deerfield Township Republican Chairman, Lake County Republican Central Committee,
Illinois Republican Party Central Committee and Lake County Republican Federation Board of Governors and Executive Committee.
In addition, I have been, and continue to be, a member of numerous bar and pharmacy associations. While working as an attorney, I have held the positions of Special Counsel and Prosecutor for Round Lake Beach, Special Counsel for Cook County State’s Attorney/Hospital, Special Counsel for the Illinois Attorney General/Retirement Systems, Special Counsel for Illinois House District 59, and Special Counsel for the Resolution Trust Corporation.

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

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

My father and mother are retired public school teachers, my sister worked as a lifeguard for our City in high school and college, my wife worked as a Social Security Hearing Officer’s Clerk in high school, my wife’s father worked for the U.S. Army Air Corp in World War II, my wife’s brother works for the United States Navy, I worked as a lifeguard for our City in high school and college, and I had minor professional services/rental contracts with the State of Illinois, and minor professional services contracts with the Village of Round Lake Beach.

Campaign information
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    Shaw
Shaw

Campaign headquarters: 2699 Waukegan Avenue, Highland Park, Illinois 60035.
Website: www.electmarkshaw.com
Campaign manager: Thomas J. Mannix
Campaign budget: Less than $250,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
A complete list of my campaign contributors and the amounts they contributed are/will be available from the Illinois State Board of Elections.

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?
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    Shaw
Shaw

Did not respond

If you don't support a bill like SB1673, what is your plan for rescuing the state's pension systems?
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    Shaw
Shaw

Did not respond

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?
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    Shaw
Shaw

Unlike my opponent, I do not support the elements of the bill that shift pension costs to local, non-Chicago school districts. Unless and until the legislature and the Department of Education:
a) begin equally and fairly distributing ALL education funding to suburban districts at the same rate as Chicago;
b) allow the local school districts to set the eligibility requirements and parameters for earning a pension; and
c) insure that the accumulated unfunded liabilities will never be transferred to local districts, I will not support any additional pension costs being shifted to suburban property taxpayers. Other than that, I support SB 1673 and will work to find additional ways to cover pension funding gaps because, even with SB 1673, the State is still making contributions well beyond a sustainable rate. In addition, I believe that the unfunded pension and health care liabilities are the most significant problem facing Illinois today and in the not-too-distant future. I believe this, because our unfunded pensions and sinking public health system cost are at the core of the state’s fiscal crisis. I believe that, in order to solve the problem, all parties associated with and/or affected by all government employee retirement systems must first realize there will be severe pain. I believe this, because, much like the aftermath of a drinking binge, Illinois must now suffer the hangover from Speaker Mike Madigan’s spending and borrowing binge. In addition, I believe that the problem is further compounded by the continued tax and user fee increases, and the borrowing and spending despite the knowledge that the state is virtually bankrupt. As a result, I believe that we should look at all options in “shoring-up” our state retirement and health care systems. I believe that everyone affected by the process should be given choices to make so that they feel that are a partner in solving the problems. In looking at all options, I believe that we must evaluate the effects of raising retirement ages, capping the average salaries used to set the baseline for pension benefits, abolishing automatic 3% cost of living adjustments and/or the compounding effect of same, creating “high” and “low” levels of benefits, increasing the employee contributions and co-payments for retirement and health care benefits, tighten-up rules to prohibit “double-dipping” and pension-padding/spiking/loopholes” (e.g., Lansing police officers and the Bellwood Village Manager), and providing incentives to employees to convert from defined pension benefits programs to defined retirement compensation programs like 401-k plans to bring the public sector employees in line with the private sector employees. I do not believe we should cut pension payments to current retirees. I believe that pension bills should not be permitted to reach the House floor for a vote until an enrolled actuary as certified that the bill can be funded within the parameters of the pension system.

If you don't support a bill like SB1673, what is your plan for rescuing the state's pension systems?
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    Shaw
Shaw

Did not respond

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?
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    Shaw
Shaw

I would support returning the eligibility guidelines to the levels they were at prior to Governor Blagojevich’s expansion of the program about ten years ago. I supported the idea of the audit that is supposed to remove unqualified recipients from the rolls; however, that has been delayed for political purposes. I believe that the eligibility requirements should be standardized according to need and I believe it would be best to operate Medicaid as an HMO. If this happens, providers will get paid on time instead of the state running up back bills of over $600 million. If this happens, patient care will also improve as programs are streamlined. Without these reforms and others, the cost of Medicaid will continue to increase and ultimately force the state to reduce outlays for education, transportation, economic development and other necessary functions of government needed to serve the people and expand the economy. I do not support tax increases, including cigarette and other “sin” taxes, as a way of financing necessary services.

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?        
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    Shaw
Shaw

Unlike my opponent, I support repealing the income tax increase. I believe that Illinois could have balanced the budget without a tax increase and I oppose the income tax increase. I believe that spending in Illinois has outstripped population growth five-fold. I believe that Illinois does not have a business-productivity or tax revenue creation problem but, rather, a spending problem. I believe that we must reverse the income tax and corporate tax increases and we must make a sincere effort to cut wasteful, redundant, and obsolete programs and spending.

I believe that all of the resources necessary to rebuild Illinois’ economy (e.g., natural resources, transportation centers, education system, financial, healthcare and legal industries, and superior work force) already exist. I believe that Illinois government can promote job creation, but, in the end, only businesses can create sustainable jobs. I believe that we lack the political will to make Illinois government get out of the way so that businesses can do what they do best – create jobs. I believe that Illinois businesses are held back, and chased away, by the punitive rates of taxes and fees – like the corporate tax increase, and the unemployment insurance and workers compensation “premiums”, respectively. In addition, I believe that businesses are leery of Illinois because of excessive bureaucratic procedures and regulations imposed upon businesses. As a result, I do not believe that we should levy ever higher, confiscatory taxes and fees, or impose additional bureaucratic “red tape” upon businesses. I believe that, if we truly want to encourage job creation, we need to find ways to encourage businesses to remain and expand in, and relocate to, Illinois and employ more people. I believe in the old maxim that “the first step to recovery is admitting that we have a problem”. I believe that, in order to “recover”, we must immediately begin a complete review, and identification, of all of the “job-killing” taxes, procedures and regulations under which Illinois’ businesses are currently forced to operate. In addition, I believe that Illinois’ run-away deficit spending and oppressive, unfunded liabilities for our pension and health care systems create an “unfriendly business climate” because, at a minimum, businesses fear uncertainty and want to avoid a “climate” of government, fiscal instability which threatens draconian measures in budgetary and taxing policies. Therefore, I believe that we need to conduct a forensic audit of the state budget to identify areas where austerity and savings plans can be implemented to close the budget deficit and to “shore-up” our unfunded liability responsibilities. I believe that, by accomplishing these tasks, Illinois will be sending a clear message to businesses that Illinois is serious about recognizing and solving its problem and is “hanging its open for business sign out” once again. Afterwards, I believe that Illinois can then explore innovative ideas like public/private partnerships for research and development with our world-class institutions of higher education.

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?
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    Shaw
Shaw

Unlike my opponent, I support repealing the income tax increase. I believe that Illinois could have balanced the budget without a tax increase and I oppose the income tax increase. I believe that spending in Illinois has outstripped population growth five-fold. I believe that Illinois does not have a business-productivity or tax revenue creation problem but, rather, a spending problem. I believe that we must reverse the income tax and corporate tax increases and we must make a sincere effort to cut wasteful, redundant, and obsolete programs and spending.

I believe that all of the resources necessary to rebuild Illinois’ economy (e.g., natural resources, transportation centers, education system, financial, healthcare and legal industries, and superior work force) already exist. I believe that Illinois government can promote job creation, but, in the end, only businesses can create sustainable jobs. I believe that we lack the political will to make Illinois government get out of the way so that businesses can do what they do best – create jobs. I believe that Illinois businesses are held back, and chased away, by the punitive rates of taxes and fees – like the corporate tax increase, and the unemployment insurance and workers compensation “premiums”, respectively. In addition, I believe that businesses are leery of Illinois because of excessive bureaucratic procedures and regulations imposed upon businesses. As a result, I do not believe that we should levy ever higher, confiscatory taxes and fees, or impose additional bureaucratic “red tape” upon businesses. I believe that, if we truly want to encourage job creation, we need to find ways to encourage businesses to remain and expand in, and relocate to, Illinois and employ more people. I believe in the old maxim that “the first step to recovery is admitting that we have a problem”. I believe that, in order to “recover”, we must immediately begin a complete review, and identification, of all of the “job-killing” taxes, procedures and regulations under which Illinois’ businesses are currently forced to operate. In addition, I believe that Illinois’ run-away deficit spending and oppressive, unfunded liabilities for our pension and health care systems create an “unfriendly business climate” because, at a minimum, businesses fear uncertainty and want to avoid a “climate” of government, fiscal instability which threatens draconian measures in budgetary and taxing policies. Therefore, I believe that we need to conduct a forensic audit of the state budget to identify areas where austerity and savings plans can be implemented to close the budget deficit and to “shore-up” our unfunded liability responsibilities. I believe that, by accomplishing these tasks, Illinois will be sending a clear message to businesses that Illinois is serious about recognizing and solving its problem and is “hanging its open for business sign out” once again. Afterwards, I believe that Illinois can then explore innovative ideas like public/private partnerships for research and development with our world-class institutions of higher education.

Do you support the gambling package Gov. Quinn vetoed at the end of August? If not, how could it be improved?
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    Shaw
Shaw

My biggest problem with Governor Quinn’s approach to the gaming regulation and expansion bill is his support for the spending that gaming revenue is supposed to fund and his opposition to implementation of the procedures and licenses which will fund his new spending.

Governor Quinn has no problem running all over the state cutting ribbons on capital improvements to be paid for with video gaming, yet he encourages the gaming board chairman to obstruct the licensing process which allows the state to collect the revenue.

It has been over 20 years since gaming became legal in Illinois (other than the Lottery and horse racing), and organized crime has not infiltrated those industries. Nevertheless, Governor Quinn holds up the gaming bill complaining there are not sufficient safeguards to the integrity of the gaming industry without giving any specific suggestions for revision. This is like dealing with a petulant spoiled child at a restaurant – they won’t eat what you give them but when asked what they do want, they pout and say “I don’t know”.

I never intend to take any funds from the gaming industry and I would support outlawing contributions from gaming interests to politicians. Other than that, I believe a casino for Chicago is helpful for tourism and casinos for the Wisconsin and Indiana borders will keep gaming tax dollars in Illinois instead of our neighboring states. I do not support slots at the racetracks or at the state fair. However, I do understand the importance of passing a bill that will garner enough support statewide, and I am willing to compromise on the number and placement of gaming positions in order to allow basic gaming goals to enhance the economy. I believe that excessive gaming can always be scaled back in the future and the law can be changed to close any loopholes. However, allowing Governor Quinn to impede economic expansion in a recession is not an option.

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?
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    Shaw
Shaw

FIRST, I believe that Illinois government needs to implement zero-based budgeting and reduction in all offices/departments and programs. In addition, I believe Illinois government should create an incentive program for employees who provide cost saving measures that are implemented by the state (i.e, a type of efficiency “whistle blowing” system).

SECOND, I believe the initiative “Preschool for All”, without proper eligibility standards, is unnecessary and expensive. I believe that Illinois should return to a preschool program that focuses on high-needs children and allows those families that can afford pre-school to pay for it on their own.

THIRD, I believe that Illinois’ prison system should be partially privatized in areas such as staffing costs to food service. In addition, I believe that alternative correctional methods should be explored in order to reduce the overcrowded prison population – especially for non-violent offenders.

FOURTH, I believe that Illinois should permit private third-party management companies to run the state park systems which have been closed due to budget cuts. In particular, I believe, that by creating a fee-based system, the state will be able to generate additional revenue at no cost to the taxpayers.

FIFTH, I believe Illinois should put an end to non-essential hiring, promotions and raises. In this regard, I believe Illinois should conduct a comprehensive review of the hundreds of state commissions and their members – especially those that are political appointees who receive full, or virtually full, salaries and benefits and do little or nothing beneficial to justify these salaries and benefits.

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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    Shaw
Shaw

I believe the current reporting requirements are adequate and the funding limitations are reasonable. Nevertheless, I believe that the enforcement of the campaign finance laws could be stronger and the State Board of Elections should enforce fines and collect them instead of allowing most PAC’s to go out of business and escape their fines. I believe that legislative leaders should be limited in how much money they can give to members of their legislative caucuses and believe that campaign fund “transfers in” and “transfers out” should be limited.

I have a long history of service to my community and to local government in Lake County. I believe I have done a good job of leading by example and have not seen any corruption, waste or fraud in Lake Forest government. Our status quo has been for the betterment of our community. I believe in term limits at all levels of government and have actively supported, and been personally subjected to, term limits for all elected and appointed office-holders in Lake Forest.

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

No.

Do you have a plan to reform Illinois' school finance system so that it no longer produces inequities in school funding across the state?        
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    Shaw
Shaw

I believe that there is no single, silver bullet to improve public education. I believe that this is true because there is great diversity among communities and school districts in Illinois and, one-size solutions do not fit all circumstances. I believe that lengthening the school day may be beneficial in Chicago, but not in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Highland Park, Deerfield, Lincolnshire, Glencoe or Northbrook. I believe that continuing to support failing programs with taxpayer dollars does not improve the quality of our student’s education. I strongly believe that local input from parents, teachers, administrators and businesses is essential to school reform because all of these groups of individuals/entities have a stake in the success of our education system and because 70% of local property tax bills pay for the local education systems. I believe we should expand charter schools and the use of vouchers – especially in those areas with the greatest rate of underperformance. I believe that if Illinois discontinues the hundreds of millions of dollars in additional subsidies given to the Chicago Public School system, at the expense of the rest of the state’s school districts like in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Highland Park, Deerfield, Lincolnshire, Glencoe and Northbrook, then there will be an even playing field upon which all can compete. I strongly believe that, until that subsidy ends, we should not continue imposing additional burdens upon the suburban taxpayers.

What is your view on gay marriage?     
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    Shaw
Shaw

For thousands of years in cultures from all over the world, marriage has been defined as a religious institution that unites a man with a woman in a lifetime partnership. Recently, Illinois passed a civil unions law which proponents said was necessary to provide same sex couples with the legal protections available to opposite sex couples as a result of the marital union. It is my understanding that the civil unions law provides the legal protections advocated by the proponents of this law and, therefore, it is unclear to me why the legislature needs to attempt to re-define the historically, religious institution of marriage.

The candidates
State Rep. Scott Drury

State Rep. Scott Drury

 

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The district
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