Governor: Bill Brady
Political affiliation: Republican
City: Bloomington, IL
Marital status: Married for 28 years, three children
Occupation/Firm name: Brady Homes, Remax Choice, and Illinois State Senator, 44th district
Campaign HQ address: P.O. Box 5314, Bloomington, Illinois 61702
Campaign website: www.bradyforillinois.com
What is your campaign budget- No response
What are your top priorities for the state-
As Governor, my top priorities will be to provide the leadership to make our state a competitive place to live and work again to create new jobs, get Illinois back to living within its means and balance the state's budget to make a clean break from the corrupt politics of the past by throwing sunshine on all state government actions and increasing transparency at every possible turn.
Lay out your plan to solve the state budget crisis. Be as specific as possible, including any recommended spending cuts. Given a massive state deficit, what areas would you prioritize for state spending- What can Illinois do without-
The right way for Illinois to climb out of the Blagojevich/Quinn $13 billion hole is to restore fiscal discipline and stop spending money we don't have. We must conduct a comprehensive audit to help guide us to cut, re-prioritize, and eliminate fraud, abuse, and mismanagement. We may have to borrow to pay our unpaid bills, but only with a plan to repay the borrowing and as part of a comprehensive economic development plan to rebuild our state's economy.
Under a Brady Administration, there will be no lack of political courage and resolve to reset our budget priorities. Illinois' budget woes will be eliminated by being honest with taxpayers, setting performance targets for all state programs, and stopping pay-to-play schemes of graft and corruption. A Brady Administration will:
Engage in an active and fiscally honest approach of deconstructing every agency budget to eliminate waste, mismanagement and fraud while still providing for the citizens who need and depend on state services.
There's not one area of state government budgeting that cannot be deconstructed and reconstructed to save money. My administration will conduct a comprehensive financial and programmatic audit, employ zero-based budgeting, work to eliminate fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, prioritize our state programs and reconstruct a budget to a maximum of 90 percent of current spending to ensure the highest level of government services to our citizens within existing revenues. Those programs that are answering a critical need and meeting their mission should be preserved; others may need to be reduced, restructured or eliminated. We must also restore the integrity of our special state funds and our capital funds, including the Road Fund. We must hold the line on new spending to give our normal revenue growth a chance to catch up through a rejuvenated economy and environment that encourages business investment and job growth. I believe Illinois needs to prioritize its programs and cut state spending by approximately 10 percent, saving $5.5 billion on the $55 billion base budget. State government must do more with less, just as families across Illinois are doing today.
Illinois needs a better managed Medicaid system that gives recipients access earlier in their illness, so patients can see their doctors instead of making high-cost emergency room visits. This will save the state over $1 billion and improve access to health care for Medicaid patients.
Restore the integrity of our special state funds and our capital funds, including the Road Fund. We must address our healthcare and pension obligations to keep the promises we have made with our employees, including our state's teachers.
Work together, employer and employee alike, to cut costs and improve efficiency.
Rebuild Illinois' civil service system to attract and retain new employees with an honest desire to serve their neighbors and to identify strong managers with leadership skills to run the state's programs and agencies.
Hold the line on new spending to give our normal revenue growth a chance to catch up without a tax increase.
No new regulation will be approved and no existing regulation will be kept unless it can pass a cost-benefit analysis and is either cost-neutral or has an agreed funding source.
All state fees and the tax burden by employment sector will be analyzed and reviewed for competitiveness with neighboring states.
If we follow the plan I have outlined and truly tighten state government's belt, as every Illinois family and business has had to do, I believe we can erase the deficit and begin to build an operating surplus that can be used to begin paying our outstanding obligations down.
Do you support or reject increasing the state income tax- What about expanding the sales tax base- What is your view on taxing retirement income-
My record on increasing tax rates is very clear. I believe increasing state tax rates is the wrong answer, especially as Illinois struggles to recover from deep economic woes. Nor will I support taxing retirement income. Illinois needs additional revenues, but those revenues should come from increased job creation and investment in Illinois, not from higher taxes on our families and businesses. Raising taxes would further drive private-sector jobs and citizens to other states, thus further eroding our tax base. Instead, state government must do what our families, businesses and communities have done. We must restore fiscal discipline and stop spending money we don't have. My administration will conduct a comprehensive financial and programmatic audit, employ zero-based budgeting, work to eliminate fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, prioritize our state programs and reconstruct a budget to a maximum of 90 percent of current spending to ensure the highest level of government services to our citizens within existing revenues. Those programs that are answering a critical need and meeting their mission should be preserved; others may need to be reduced, restructured or eliminated. We must also restore the integrity of our special state funds and our capital funds, including the Road Fund. We must hold the line on new spending to give our normal revenue growth a chance to catch up through a rejuvenated economy and environment that encourages business investment and job growth.
What is your view on state borrowing to pay bills, including to pay pension obligations-
Again, we must hold the line on new spending to give our normal revenue growth a chance to catch up through a rejuvenated economy and environment that encourages business investment and job growth. We can borrow to pay our unpaid obligations, but only with a repayment plan and as part of a comprehensive economic development plan to rebuild our state's economy.
The state last spring created a two-tier pension system. Would you go further by including new police officers and firefighters and by reducing benefits for current employees- Would you support making retired state workers pay more for their health care benefits-
The pension issue is complex. What we know is that the current funding levels are not working and our pension liabilities are dangerously high. This threatens the benefits of all covered government employees. In order to protect the people who have already earned pension benefits--retirees and current employees--we must realize we can no longer afford the growth of the current system and need to explore moving from the current defined benefit pension program for state employees to a defined contribution system for new employees, similar to what we offer state university employees under legislation I sponsored and similar to 401(k) options being considered and implemented by other states and private industry. I believe such a system will begin to correct the growing unfunded liability problem. It is actuarially sound and provides guarantees and benefits for the state taxpayers, state employees and their families. I will not, however, sign a budget which does not fund our pension obligations.
How would you reform the state Medicaid system-
Over the last 10 years, Medicaid liabilities in Illinois have been increasing at an average rate of 6.9 percent and threaten to further erode Illinois' budget capabilities, even in times of no deficits and acceptable payment cycles for our bills. In addition, Medicaid enrollment has increased more than 60 percent in the last eight years. Together those increases point to a challenge that Illinois must face in order to balance our current budget and to reverse a trend of unchecked spending.
In order to reform our Medicaid system, I believe we must greatly expand our managed care program for Medicaid recipients. Other states have had significant success in budget savings and ensuring quality care through the Medicaid program with a broad-based managed care program. I believe we can provide better access and more affordable health care for our 2.6 million Medicaid enrollees through a managed system of primary and preventive care rather than higher-cost emergency room visits.
As the Auditor General has pointed out, the state's eligibility verification standards have been lowered in recent years to use of a single month payroll stub to determine 12 months of eligibility. The Auditor General also found a disturbing policy of not requiring recipients to re-enroll in the All Kids program, instead indicating they were presumed to be eligible to re-enroll unless they were notified they were not.
I believe we must tighten our eligibility verification efforts to ensure that limited Medicaid dollars are available for those who truly depend on government for medical care.
As with all programs in the first days of a Brady Administration, the state's Medicaid program will be deconstructed through an open book audit, which detects fraud, mismanagement and abuse, and prioritized to give the best care we can within the state's available resources.
What would you do to facilitate job growth in Illinois- Is the money spent by the state to recruit businesses and offer tax breaks money well spent-
To make Illinois work again, I will create a business climate that encourages companies to both invest in creating new opportunity in Illinois and maintain existing employment for Illinois workers. I will help create and retain jobs in Illinois through employer incentives. I am proposing a tax credit to businesses for every new job they create. The average job brings in $4,200 in annual revenue to the state.
The long-term solution to the state's fiscal imbalance is bringing back the over 200,000 jobs Illinois has lost just since Pat Quinn was named Governor in January 2009. Each lost job represents over $4,200 in lost annual tax revenue. Additionally, I support reducing the overall cost of doing business in Illinois, including elimination of excessive taxes and fees imposed by the Blagojevich/Quinn Administration, so businesses will expand and locate in Illinois. There is no reason why Illinois must lose jobs. Since 2003 Illinois has taken specific actions to become an anti-business state. While Illinois has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs, states like Texas have added hundreds of thousands of jobs. Illinois can do better.
The Illinois Constitution says the state has the "primary responsibility" for funding education. How would you make the state live up to that obligation-
Article X of the Illinois Constitution is the Education Article. The second paragraph of Section 1 says "The State shall provide for an efficient system of high quality public educational institutions and services" and the third paragraph of Section 1 says, "The State has the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education." While many people feel this language is straight forward and forceful, others do not. And while the meaning of this language and the obligation of the state twice have been brought before the Illinois Supreme Court, that Court has twice rejected the challenges to the state's education finance system. (See Committee for Educational Rights v. Edgar, 672 N.E.2d 1178 (1996), and Lewis E. v. Spagnolo, 710 N.E.2d 798 (1999)). Litigation continues, but to what purpose is unclear as the Supreme Court appeared both clear and resolute in finding the issue not justiciable. The Supreme Court said it is a matter for the legislature, and in 1992, the legislature put the question before the electorate. CA 130, an amendment that would have required the state to be the predominant source of education funding, failed. The electorate said "No."
The debate at the writing of the 1970 Constitution focused on the issues of state vs. local control, state financing vs. local financing, and increased funding vs. equality of funding. These issues are still polarizing.
In seeking to be Illinois' next governor, my goal is to refine Illinois' policy options on funding for education and build consensus so that our citizens receive the best education value and we have a workforce with the knowledge and skills necessary for the future.
I am on record as believing that Illinois relies too heavily upon property taxes and that we could use 10 percent of natural growth in state tax revenues each year to proportionately pay a larger share of local education costs and ease the property tax burden on homeowners and small businesses. I also support parental choice and the use of tax credits and charter schools to improve educational opportunity. At the same time, local input and control is important and increased funding from Springfield should not serve as a license to increase state authority. The last thing I want is Springfield constantly telling local teachers how they should be teaching. While Springfield should set goals, I believe that local educators and school boards should be given some freedom to determine how to specifically achieve those goals.
I believe that the Illinois State Board of Education is bloated and needs to be restructured to contain fewer bureaucrats and push more money out to the school districts, and I believe our school districts need to be held accountable for the percentage of dollars which are used by school administrators and never make it to the classroom. Several years back the Illinois State Chamber led an innovative series of funding audits on this issue and the state needs to follow up. Finally, teachers are on the front-line of our education system and we need to listen to their views since they are in the classroom, and our businesses, large and small, are our customers and we need to actively engage them in addressing this issue. As Governor, I will seek to involve all stakeholders in a process of consensus building to address education funding at the state and local levels.
How would you improve the campaign finance law passed in 2009- Would you support capping donations from party leaders during general elections-
Yes. I proposed a comprehensive reform package capping individual campaign contributions at the federal level of $2,400 for a primary and $2,400 for the general election cycle and prohibiting union and corporate contributions. I am also calling for term limits for legislators and state officers, stopping the current practice of concentrating power within the hands of a few. I support a redistricting plan conducted by an independent, nonpartisan body that uses a computer program to draw the boundaries, recognizing county, township and city boundaries to the greatest extent possible, to eliminate legislative gerrymandering, and gives all Illinoisans greater representation in the legislature.
What is the long-term solution to fund the CTA and replace its aging buses and trains-
The CTA is scheduled to receive $1.4 billion for transit capital improvements from the state's infrastructure program, which was negotiated and passed with bipartisan cooperation. I believe the state must live up to that commitment. While it won't address all the CTA's infrastructure needs, it will provide the CTA with the means to begin addressing its priorities. Like all government service agencies, the CTA must live within its means. On the other side, the state of Illinois needs to refrain from imposing unfunded mandates on the CTA. As Governor, I will use my good offices to work with labor and management to keep the CTA running for its commuters.
Should the state play an active role in reducing global warming- If so, how-
We need to lead on a state, national and international level by promoting green principles that emphasize environmental stewardship.
I do not support a plan that increases the tax burden on Illinois taxpayers and costs Illinois families jobs. As Governor, I will leverage our state's higher education and private sector institutions to foster clean energy sources which could move Illinois to the forefront of use of green and sustainable energy technologies.
I will invest in technologies that utilize waste products for the production of energy. I will also maximize the use of Illinois' coal through new clean coal technologies, including economical clean mine-mouth plants that eliminate coal transportation costs, and work to secure federal dollars to further enhance green models. Furthermore, I will promote and maintain the recreational and economic viability of our parks, wetlands and green spaces and enhance their environmental capabilities.
Regardless of one's belief in global warming, reducing pollution is environmentally sound.
What is your view on gay marriage and civil unions-
My personal beliefs are rooted in and informed by the theology of my faith. I believe in traditional marriage. Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman.
As governor, would you lift the moratorium on the death penalty or continue it-
The death penalty should be a punishment available to prosecutors for the extreme and heinous crimes in society today. I support capital punishment, particularly for those criminals who would continue to impose a threat to society even while behind bars. I also believe that anyone proven to have murdered a law enforcement officer should receive this ultimate punishment.
I will lift the moratorium on the death penalty and allow executions to resume as soon as those capital cases work their way through the necessary appeals process. I believe a Governor has the power to stay executions or commute sentences on a case-by-case basis, not to issue a blanket moratorium on executions. Allowing the execution of any person is one of the gravest decisions a governor has to make. We have worked to put in place the safeguards necessary to protect innocent men and women from being executed. However, before allowing an execution to proceed, I would work to ensure, to the best of my ability, that it was the right decision.
List your educational background
Illinois Wesleyan University, B.S. Economics, Finance and Political Science (1983)
Please list civic, professional, fraternal or other organizations to which you belong
Illinois Association of Realtors
National Association of Realtors
Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors
Champaign-Urbana Association of Realtors
Illinois Association of Homebuilders
National Association of Homebuilders
Knights of Columbus
Catholic Charities, Peoria Diocese of Illinois
OSF Advisory Board
Illinois State Rifle Association
Several local Chambers of Commerce
Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government-
Illinois State Senator, 2002-present and Illinois State Representative, 1993-2000
Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government
Ed Brady, brother, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, board member.
Michael O'Grady, business partner, employee at Illinois State University.
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed
A copy of my campaign committee report is on file with the State Board of Elections and is public record.
Please paste a brief biography here
Bill Brady has led the way in efforts to restore integrity to state government, to improve the state's job climate, and to use taxpayers' dollars for the good of all Illinois citizens and their communities. The Republican nominee for Governor, Brady is campaigning throughout Illinois to bring common-sense leadership to the state that will once again put Illinois on the track of promise and prosperity.
He is a leading voice for efforts to create a business climate that will attract hundreds of thousands of new jobs to the state. He also is a leader in the effort to reform the state's grossly underfunded public pension systems while safeguarding the retirement security of state employees, university faculty and teachers.
A legislator who has a solid reputation for budget expertise and for challenging the status quo in state government, Bill Brady believes state government should be accountable for educating our children and maintaining such essential services as transportation and law enforcement supported by a tax system that is fair and efficient.
As a state legislator, Brady has worked to increase educational accountability, promote fiscal responsibility, offer homeowners relief from burdensome property taxes, overhaul regulation of the health care industry in Illinois, promote the use of alternative energy sources, and create a business climate favorable to job growth.
A lifelong resident of Bloomington and a successful businessman in the home construction, real estate marketing and development industry, Brady has served in the Illinois Senate since 2002 and previously was elected to four terms in the House of Representatives.
A graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, Brady and his wife Nancy have three children.