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State Senate, District 43

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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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    Johnson
Sandy Johnson
Political party: Republican
Birthdate: 6/17/1959
Occupation: Former Business Development and Marketing Officer/Current Full Time Candidate
Marital status: Divorced
Spouse:

Education:

BA, Business Administration, Lewis University

Civic, professional, fraternal or other affiliations:

Past Lion's Club Member
Past Key Club Advisor

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

No.

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

My brother-in-law currently works for the Will County Sheriff Department.
My sister worked for the Will County Juvenile Detention Center more than 20 years ago.

Campaign information
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    Johnson
Johnson

Campaign headquarters: 16225 West Creek Drive, Manhattan, IL, 60442
Website: sandy4illinois.com
Campaign manager: Kelly Honan
Campaign budget: $25,000
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Sandy Johnson ($6,200)
Otto ($5,000)
18th District Republican Central Committee ($1,000)
All other contributions less than $250

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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    Johnson
Johnson

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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    Johnson
Johnson

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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    Johnson
Johnson

I would not support a bill like SB1673 in the next session because we cannot afford to continue to offer retirees' annual compounded cost of living increases as an option. In addition, I do not support any efforts to shift pension liabilities to local school districts.

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

I would support state pension reform that provides current retirees and employees within 5 years of retirement a 3% annual increase based on their pension benefits at the time of retirement. Employees 5 to 25 years from retirement would participate in a 401K type retirement savings plan, including a formula for credit based on their years of participation in the old pension system. Employees more than 25 years from retirement and all future employees would participate in a 401K type retirement savings plan.

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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    Johnson
Johnson

I do not support the Medicaid reform package passed last spring because it relies on cuts in services and rate reduction to achieve the needed savings. Raising the cigarette tax is a short term fix to a long term problem and merely avoids examining the cost inefficiencies within this program. I believe Medicaid needs comprehensive reform. However, this should be achieved by first removing people from the Medicaid system who either no longer meet the requirements or never should have qualified initially. All cost efficiencies must be addressed before cuts in services and rate reduction should even be considered.

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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    Johnson
Johnson

I support immediate repeal of the 2 percent income tax increase currently set to expire in 2014. This reduction in taxes will serve as an immediate stimulus and both individuals and businesses in Illinois will benefit as money that was dedicated to paying taxes will now be available for discretionary spending.

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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    Johnson
Johnson

I support lowering the corporate income tax rate in Illinois to equal that of Indiana and Wisconsin, thus leveling the corporate playing field with our neighboring states. I also support the repeal of any unnecessary regulations that hinders business growth and productivity. Government does not create jobs, business does.

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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Johnson

I fully support Governor Quinn's veto of the gambling package as it would have taken business and jobs away from the existing casinos in Joliet.

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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    Johnson
Johnson

The State has not done enough to reduce spending. Much more needs to be done to look at eliminating redundant agencies. I support combining the Treasurer's and Comptroller's offices. Also, compensation for appointments to advisory boards should be limited to $5,000 annually. The Medicaid Recapture Audit, while passed, must now be implemented.

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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    Johnson
Johnson

I would support capping the amount state party leaders can donate during a general election.

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

I would not support a shift from a flat income tax to a progressive income tax. Shifting to a progressive income tax is a step towards higher taxes overall.

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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    Johnson
Johnson

School finance reform is a complex problem that needs to be more fully explored for the most equitable solution. However, in general, I favor funding mechanisms, including vouchers, which allow for free movement of funds to follow a student and take into account the additional costs incurred to educate students with a high risk of academic failure. I support the creation of more charter schools in Illinois and a more expedient approval process to facilitate this growth.

What is your view on gay marriage?     
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    Johnson
Johnson

I believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

The candidates
Sandy Johnson

Sandy Johnson

PMcGuire

Pat McGuire

 

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The district
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