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State Senate, District 30

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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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Terry Link
Political party: Democrat
Birthdate: 3/20/1947
Occupation: Full-time State Senator
Marital status: Married
Spouse: Susan

Education:

I attended Stout State University

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Chairman, Democratic Party of Lake County, 1992-present

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 spouse Susan is Director of External Affairs, AT&T, my spouse registers as an Illinois lobbyist.

Campaign information
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Campaign headquarters:
Website: http://www.link30.org/
Campaign manager:
Campaign budget:
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
This information is available on the State Board of Elections website.

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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I supported SB 1673 when it passed the Senate last year. I also have supported the creation of a second tier retirement system for new public sector workers at the state and local levels. While I am open to discussion on giving local school districts a greater a say in the financial responsibility for their employees' pensions, that discussion needs to move beyond simply shifting the states financial problems onto local taxpayers, which is just passing the buck, not real reform.

If you don't support a bill like SB1673, what is your plan for rescuing the state's pension systems?
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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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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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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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Yes, I support continued efforts to ensure quality coverage to those who need it the most.

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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I support letting the 2 percent tax increase expire in 2014. The deadline has already motivated tremendous action and savings, and I expect more to come. If we continue on this path, it will be possible to let the increase expire as scheduled.

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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We need to do a full, public review of the tax incentives in our business tax structure so we can evaluate what is needed, what is working, and what isn't. The goal should be maintaining and expanding jobs. For that latter reason, I supported the legislation intended to keep CME group and Sears headquartered in Illinois. In the case of Sears, the state, and the suburbs in particular could not afford to lose the jobs. The changes for CME were necessary in light of the increasingly electronic nature of CME's business.

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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I supported the gambling package vetoed at the end of August.

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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There has been progress in the past few years on reining in spending, especially with the looming expiration of the 2011 income tax hike. However, more remains to be done. Further savings can be realized by an overhaul of the state's economic development agency (DCEO), consolidation of local governments and school districts, review of tax incentives to determine which are not creating jobs or spurring economic activity, and increased scrutiny of state grant programs (especially those overseen by the governor's office). We need greater state investment in our public schools.

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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I would seek stronger disclosure requirements for outside groups, but would do so with circumspection, bearing in mind that as much as I disagree with the the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Citizens' United case, it is still the law of the land.

Would you back a constitutional amendment to shift from a flat income tax to a progressive income tax system?         
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I would support a progressive 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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We need to help school systems so they are not as reliant on property taxes to ease inequalities in funding.

What is your view on gay marriage?     
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Did not respond

The candidates
DCastella

Don Castella

Terry Link

Terry Link

 

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The district
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