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State House, District 62

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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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    Yingling
Sam Yingling
Political party: Democrat
Birthdate: 7/4/1980
Occupation: Avon Township Supervisor
Marital status:
Spouse:

Education:

I hold two Bachelor's Degrees from DePaul University in Chicago, Public Policy and Administration, Political Science, and Urban Planning. I also hold an Illinois Real Estate Broker's license.

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

I have served as the Past President of the Round Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and the Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center Foundation Board. I currently serve on the Mano A Mano Family Resource Center Advisory Board as well as a member of the Exchange Club and the B.E.S.T organization.

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

Avon Township Supervisor

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

A family member does contract work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Campaign information
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    Yingling
Yingling

Campaign headquarters: 1919 IL Route 83, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073
Website: www.samyingling.com
Campaign manager: Andrew Kretschmar
Campaign budget:
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Contibutors to the campaign are always changing. Please refer to elections.il.gov for the most recent information.

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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    Yingling
Yingling

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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Yingling

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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    Yingling
Yingling

Frankly, I am disgusted that the Legislature has failed to address this issue in the past and has kicked the can down the road. This approach has created an inherently inequitable position for not only the taxpayers that are funding the pension system but has also created an unneeded level of uncertainty for those who are eligible for such pensions. I am a strong advocate for upholding the State's contractual obligations and an even stronger advocate for developing a balanced budget. We have a constitutional obligation to protect those individuals who have paid into the system and have played by the rules. Since 1970, the State's Constitution has guaranteed certain protections to those people who participate in the State's pension system. That said, moving forward I would consider any of the current proposals including those brought forth by the Governor and leaders of both parties. Every legislator bears responsibility to contribute to the dialogue of which my opponent has been notably absent.

Due to Constitutional requirements, the State has an obligation to honor its current commitments. However, moving forward, we need to address systemic changes to the public employee pension system, which may include greater employee contributions.

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

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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    Yingling
Yingling

Illinois' rising Medicaid costs needed to be addressed, as they have quickly become the single largest line item in the State budget. The State can continue to take proactive steps to reform and ultimately help contain rising Medicaid spending by increasing regulation on proving qualifications for the program including strict checks on current residency and proof of income. Previous Medicaid reforms have been blocked at the federal level and we must find innovative ways to navigate around federal authority while making the needed systemic changes to Medicaid. We must ensure this program is being utilized by the very people it was meant to benefit, those most vulnerable in our State. State Government must ensure care is available to those who need it and also deliver it in the most efficient way possible to not only benefit recipients of the program but also those financing the program: the taxpayers.

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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    Yingling
Yingling

As Avon Township Supervisor, I have been successful in cutting the Township's tax levy by over 22%. I have also succeeded in cutting operating expenses. I have done this while, at the same time, expanding Township services and maintaining all jobs. Based on this experience, we must tackle spending and increase government efficiencies before we open dialogue on increasing taxes. My number one priority is to work to achieve greater efficiencies that will allow the tax increase to expire without adverse effects to the State's budget.

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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    Yingling
Yingling

The best way to create jobs in Illinois is to develop a more comprehensive approach to not only attract businesses, but to create a long-term friendly environment to retain them. Current parts of the 62nd district are slated for industrial and commercial development but require a state representative who will work to bring these projects to fruition. I believe that the policy around job creation should focus on incubating and supporting "sunrise" industries which will provide jobs for decades to come. Illinois already has the tools to make this possible. We have some of the best universities and historically we have been a world leader in transportation and agribusiness.

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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    Yingling
Yingling

Any gaming bills must be based on a compelling reason for expansion and due diligence as opposed to the current approach of pacifying legislators from various parts of the State. Any decision to implement expansion must be reasonable and responsible, including the addition of slot machines to race tracks. We must insure that robust regulatory oversight is in place to protect the public interest. The allocation of appropriate funding to the Illinois Gaming Board, which provides regulatory oversight to the industry, must be included in any legislation. This funding should come directly from the gaming industry and the General Assembly should be legally prohibited from sweeping those funds for other uses.

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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    Yingling
Yingling

The current budgetary crisis is a symptom of a greater problem and there are numerous issues that must be addressed statewide. Acclaimed legislation called Budgeting for Results was recently passed. This legislation has the continued potential to save billions of dollars within the State's budget and we can continue to build upon these gains. By focusing State funding on performance based criteria we can more effectively determine where additional cuts can be made. This approach will provide the Legislature with an educated analysis about where these additional spending cuts will have the most impact. The Budgeting for Results Commission harnesses the experience of those in the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Beyond addressing the needed additional State budgetary reductions, the State needs to address that it has the highest number of taxing entities in the country. We need to consolidate and eliminate redundant layers of government to alleviate overall taxation pressure on residents.

Our budgetary problems must also be addressed by expanding the State's tax base by fostering economic growth through incubating new industry and technology. Until we do a combination of the above, Illinois' budgetary problems will continue to plague the State.

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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    Yingling
Yingling

Although the State recently implemented notable campaign finance legislation, the reforms did not go far enough. Stricter limits should be placed on the amount of money that political parties and leadership can contribute to any candidate and the law needs to focus more heavily on transparency in campaign finance. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United has opened a Pandora's box that threatens to distort our system and allow corporate interests to hijack public policy.

It's a tragic state of affairs that campaigns have become more concerned with fundraising than debating policy. It's equally tragic that candidates for the State Legislature are seldom considered relevant without the help of party leadership. I will always be a proponent of further reforms to our system.

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

I support a state tax system that reflects a graduated 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?        
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    Yingling
Yingling

The greatness of our nation was built on the principles of equal access to the public education system. Education is a right, not a privilege. In order to remain economically competitive, it is imperative that Illinois provide high quality education at the primary, secondary and university levels. Every child in Illinois should have equal access to free, high quality primary and secondary education. We need to address the funding of our educational system through a hybrid funding mechanism that helps alleviate the property tax burden on our families while ensuring that every student has the resources needed to excel.

What is your view on gay marriage?     
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    Yingling
Yingling

I do not believe that government should be in the business of marriage and that marriage should solely be a religious institution. Since government decided to enter the business of marriage it now has a responsibility to administer those legal rights equitability to both opposite and same sex couples.

The candidates
Sandy Cole

Sandy Cole

Sam Yingling

Sam Yingling

 

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The district
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