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State Senate, District 23

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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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    Pankau
Carole Pankau
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: Did not respond
Occupation: State of Illinois
Marital status: Married
Spouse: John

Education:

University of Illinois Chicago, Bachelor of Science, Accounting

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Bloomingdale Township Republican Organization
Bloomingdale Township Republican Women's Organization Chamber of Commerce Member (Ten local chambers)
The Conference of Women Legislators -- Co-Chair

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

Keeneyville school board member 1978-1986
DuPage County Board Member 1984-1992
State Representative 1993-2005
State Senator 2005- Present

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

My husband has done legal work for a local highway department.
My daughter works for a regional office of education.
My son in law is a police chief.

Campaign information
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    Pankau
Pankau

Campaign headquarters: 105 E. Irving Park Rd - Itasca IL
Website: www.peopleforpankau.com
Campaign manager: Margaret Nunne
Campaign budget: 600,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
This information is readily available on the State Board of Elections website elections.il.gov.

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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    Pankau
Pankau

I will support SB 1673 without any cost shift language in it. In the Senate, I supported HB 1447 which contained the same principles of pension reform as SB 1673, but the Senate President only applied those to the State Employee and General Assembly Systems.

At this moment, the sustainability of our pension system is the single greatest threat facing our state. I believe we must act swiftly to reduce our unfunded pension liability by reforming the pension system. However, we cannot reduce pension benefits of those workers who have already earned them. One reform idea that I believe has some real potential is the "Cap-And-Age" proposal brought forward by Senator Chris Lauzen. This legislation caps the total payout that an individual can receive from state backed pension systems, and prevents individuals from taking any pension benefits until they turn 62. The "Cap-And-Age" proposal, Leader Cross's proposal, and the reforms outlined by the Civic Committee are all reforms that we should be debating down in Springfield.

I will not support shifting pension payments to suburban school districts, as this is not ‘reform' this is simply changing which taxpayer account this bill gets paid from.

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

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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    Pankau
Pankau

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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    Pankau
Pankau

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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    Pankau
Pankau

I voted yes on Medicaid reform. I supported the appointment of a third party to help properly qualify applicants for Medicaid programs. Unfortunately, the Governor is holding up this portion of the Medicaid reform until January so that Medicaid recipients and their families don't abandon the Democrats in November. Medicaid should also be run more as an HMO managed care program, which will also reduce costs, provide an equal standard of care and increase Illinois' ability to pay its bills.

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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    Pankau
Pankau

I support repealing the income tax. If it is not repealed, I support allowing the income tax increase to expire.

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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    Pankau
Pankau

I support rolling back the corporate income tax rate to the 2010 level.

To begin to help companies, large and small, we need to remove onerous fees associated with setting up or renewing a business in this state.

For example, if you choose to renew a business license online, there is an automatic fee assessed that is not charged if you were to renew a license on paper -- this is a needless fee, and discourages efficiency in state government. There are dozens of other small fees and fines that add up and cost business millions of dollars each year.

Having a reliable and predictable business tax system, where businesses know their costs in this state, will result in more businesses staying in Illinois, or possibly returning from other states.

To create good paying local jobs our state must become more business friendly. Part of being business friendly is lower taxes, less regulation and reduced bureaucracy, however, many small business owners are just as concerned about the ‘shoot-from-the-hip' approach our state takes in regards to business policy. We must develop a long-term strategy that allows businesses to plan, with confidence, for their future. I support giving tax breaks to businesses that come to Illinois. I do not support rewarding businesses that seek to hold our state hostage. Any incentive offered to an existing Illinois business should be phased in over time, rewarding a business for staying in Illinois over the long term.

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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    Pankau
Pankau

I voted yes.

Many of the misgivings of the Gaming Board Chairman and the Governor seem to be an excuse for not implementing the will of the legislature. Gaming expanded in Illinois in 1990 and has been fairly operated without the influence of organized crime. There were sufficient safeguards in place to protect the industry and if there were any loopholes, they could be closed in subsequent legislation just as with any other bill.

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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    Pankau
Pankau

Pension payments

Medicaid reform

Pay freezes for union employees until their contract is ratified by the General Assembly

Installation of energy efficient lighting in ALL state institutions, funding the upgrade with savings on utility bills (long term savings)

Getting rid of the state's IBID online auction system and moving all surplus property auctions to Ebay.com

Eliminating state cell phones and partially reimbursing employees for their own cell service

Replacing all fax machines with Internet based faxing services, replacing landlines with VOIP service.

Stopping unnecessary grants, such as a $50,000 DCEO grant to draft a plan for an Army base that is still owned by the federal government.

Cease paying money to unions that are not part of employee compensation (For example, a recent grant of approximately $500,000 for ‘Member Outreach' to a statewide union.)

Stop grants to private institutions of higher education ($630,000 from DCEO to Northwestern University - unspecified grant).

Stop grants to private entities for construction purposes ($1,995,001.33 to Allendale Association, Anderson Japanese Gardens, $100,000 -- plus many many more -- See online expenditure listings under DCEO).

Stop grants to non-profits in certain cases, especially those that duplicate services provided by local government, or conversely reduce the state payment to local governments for those same services.

Stop payments for travel for non-state employees.

Start paying bills on time to reduce court of claim costs.

Stop grants and awards to Illinois Toll Highway Authority, especially since they just increased tolls on Illinois families.

Get rid of or consolidate the following state authorities and/or commissions:
- Illinois Violence Prevention Authority - $21 million
- Illinois Civil Service Commission - $40,000
- Commission on Human Rights $25,000
- Dry Cleaner Council - $1.4 million.
Getting rid of the office of Lt. Governor.

The Sex Offender Management Board should be managed by the Illinois State Police Southwest.

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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    Pankau
Pankau

Yes, I would support caps on contributions from caucus leaders.

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

No, as even the federal government is looking to simplify the tax code, this type of change in Illinois would be moving in the opposite direction, and needlessly complicate our tax code.

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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    Pankau
Pankau

The easiest way would be to take the total amount of money available for school funding and distribute it to school districts on a per student basis across the state. Complications will arise with special education districts and special needs children, but the same principles can be applied at a different level.

What is your view on gay marriage?     
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    Pankau
Pankau

I believe in the traditional union between a man and a woman.

The candidates
Thomas E. Cullerton

Thomas E. Cullerton

Carole Pankau

Carole Pankau

 

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The district
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