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State Senate, District 24

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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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    Dillard
Kirk Dillard
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: 6/1/1955
Occupation: Attorney at Law (Partner)/Locke Lord LLP
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Stephanie

Education:

Hinsdale Central High School (Member, Hall of Fame)

Western Illinois University (B.A. with Honors) (Recipient, Distinguished Alumni Award)

De Paul University College of Law (A.B.A. Award Winner/Best Performance) (Outstanding Service to DePaul Univ. Award)

University of Virginia, Darden School of Business, Graduate Work

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Economic Club of Chicago, Union League Club of Chicago, Dean's Council-De Paul College of Law, Downers Grove Economic Development Commission, Robert Crown Center for Health Education (Board), Founding Member-Downers Grove Education Foundation (District 58), College of DuPage Foundation (Board), Mentor-University of Chicago Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, United Way of DuPage/West Cook (Board)

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

Illinois Senate Republican Staff, Chief of Staff-Governor Jim Edgar, Judge-Illinois Court of Claims, Illinois State Senator-District 24, Chair-Du Page County Republican Party

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

I am a partner in the law firm of Locke Lord LLP which rarely, if ever, has contracts with the State of Illinois.

Campaign information
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    Dillard
Dillard

Campaign headquarters: 837 S. Westmore Av, Lombard, IL 60148 Mailing Address: PO Box 345 Westmont, IL 60559
Website: www.kdillard.com
Campaign manager: Leland Lewis
Campaign budget: $75,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Daniel Goodwin (Inland Group) - $10,000

Vincent & Patricia Foglia (Sage Manufacturing) - $10,000

Illinois Association of Realtors - $10,000

Stand For Children - $10,000

Illinois Retail Merchants Association - $7,500

John Deere Co. - $5,000

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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    Dillard
Dillard

I support major pension reform bills like SB1673, and it should have been done yesterday.

The biggest hurdle right now to pension reform is Speaker Madigan's ideas to shift pension funding to suburban property taxpayers. Suburban (and downstate) legislators have significant questions about Madigan's proposals to move suburban teacher pension obligations onto beleaguered local property taxpayers. If the Speaker and the Governor are serious about moving suburban teacher pensions onto local governments, part of the package would have to be significant existing mandate relief and prohibitions on new overbearing mandates from Springfield. Additionally, there must be flexibility for our local school boards to control their own costs and suburban access to monies exclusively available only to Chicago. Obviously, any changes must be phased-in over a period of time that would allow local school districts to manage the required changes.

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

N/A

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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    Dillard
Dillard

N/A

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

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?
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    Dillard
Dillard

My Medicaid Recapture Audit law is now being conducted and could potentially find $800 million to $1 billion (as estimated by the New York Times) in fraud/savings and which optimizes Federal matches, eliminates the duplication of payments and uncovers outright fraud. Illinois needs to have a medicaid plan similar to other midwestern states ($1.2 billion in savings).

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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    Dillard
Dillard

Yes.

The Senate Republicans have created a path to fiscal stability. You can go to "Illinois Reality Check" on the upper right-hand corner of my website, www.kdillard.com, to see a plan for how the income tax increase can be eliminated and an alternative plan of budget reforms to replace deficits and to phase-out the 67% income tax increase and return the state to fiscal stability.

Illinois Government needs to live within its means! No state has ever borrowed or taxed its way into prosperity!

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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    Dillard
Dillard

As we learned from the Sears and CME debates, we need a comprehensive review/overhaul of our business tax-fee structure. We must reduce the cost of doing business in Illinois and not have a system where the well-heeled get tax breaks and the small family owned businesses (which create 85% of Illinois jobs) are ignored. The fact that CME was 6% or 7% of the State's corporate tax revenues and that Caterpillar pays no corporate income tax proves that the system is broken!

I also wrote the Senate Republican comprehensive plan for job creators, the goal of which is to encourage job growth by developing an efficient, transparent and ethical State Government with less regulation (I proposed the "Office of the Repealer") and lower taxes. You can find this plan, "Jobs Recovery Plan to Transform Illinois into a Destination Economy", available on my website (www.kdillard.com) which can be obtained by clicking the green and yellow icon showing "30 Tips..."

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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    Dillard
Dillard

I do not support the expansion of gambling in Illinois. However, as a matter of fairness, if the rest of Illinois has the ability to have casinos or riverboats, Mayor Emanuel, if he thinks it is proper, should have that ability too. I do agree with Governor Quinn, Gaming Chairman Jaffe, and the BGA or Chicago Crime Commission that the regulatory scheme must be thorough and tough! I do support measures which will continue to assist the agricultural farm family side of horse racing.

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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    Dillard
Dillard

I do not believe the legislature has done enough to force the state to live within its means, our spending priorities are wrong, and I do not support more borrowing.

My plan is to reduce medicaid fraud. Illinois needs to have a medicaid plan similar to other midwestern states ($1.2 billion in savings). The Senate GOP has recommended a menu of $4-7 billion in cost reductions, which is available on Senate Leader Christine Radogno's website or mine www.kdillard.com. And, we need to grow the economy since that is the best way to put money into the State Treasury.

See my education answer below. We do not necessarily have to increase state spending, we can look at our priorities and adjust existing spending to meet the needs of a 21st century state government.

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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    Dillard
Dillard

I have a motion on file to have the full Senate consider former U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins' ethics recommendations. I passed the first major ethics changes in more than 25 years (internet disclosure, lobbyist gift ban, etc.) and created the Illinois Internet Portal. When I ran for Governor in 2010, I also explained that I would shut down my campaign fund raising if elected, since a Governor should govern and not fund raise.

Yes, I support capping what state party leaders can donate during a general election.

Yes, we need futher ethics changes (like the Collins Commission). I also will sponsor the Inspector General's (Thomas Homer) suggestions to bolster or force legislators to declare their conflicts of interest on the floor.

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

No. Our simple flat tax is one of the few business development tools that we have left in Illinois. To improve fairness, I support increasing the personal exemption or the Earned Income Tax Credit to help the working poor.

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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Dillard

Education funding is my highest priority (science and technology emphasized, along with emphasis on the developmentally disabled). For years, Illinois has appropriated hundreds of millions of new dollars into education but school test scores and graduation rates have for the most part remained flat or have decreased. As just one measure, the average ACT score in Illinois has mostly gone down over the past 10 years. We lack appropriate math and literacy remediation programs. I believe that every child in this State, from Chicago to Cairo, has the right to a quality education, but I do not believe that taxpayers support adding new money without significant progress and reform. Illinois spends billions of dollars in general funds every year. We must look at how the money is used and distributed before a commitment to additional funding is made. I have supported capital for school construction from Springfield which helps hold down property taxes. And, with referendum, I have supported allowing school districts a local income tax option. Finally, if we grow the economy in Illinois $$$ flows into the treasury!!!

I am against property tax swaps, however, I do support local districts opting to raise taxes with an associated decrease in property taxes if approved by referendum. I am willing to listen to education experts to find ways to make funding, teaching and performance as equal as possible throughout the state.

My "Best in Class" education program, as proposed during the 2010 GOP Gubernatorial primary, offers ways to close the achievement gap through a review of unnecessary mandates to ensure there is time for reading, writing, math and science. Maintaining funding for preschool as a readiness tool is essential, and we must have a seamless system to transition from school to the workforce of today and tomorrow

What is your view on gay marriage?     
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    Dillard
Dillard

I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The candidates
Kirk Dillard

Kirk Dillard

 

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The district
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