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Illinois Senate, Dist. 31: Michael Bond


Political affiliation: Democratic

City: No response

Marital status: Married

Occupation/Firm name: State Senator

Campaign HQ address: 1100 E. Washington St., Suite 202, Grayslake, IL, 60030

Campaign website: www.michaelbondforsenate.com

What is your campaign budget- No response

What are your top priorities for your district- Creating jobs and stabilizing our local economy are my top priorities for northern Lake County. I am also very focused on maintaining ethical standards and working to balance our state budget so that the 31st district can responsibly benefit from the resources of the state. I helped persuade Parker Hannifin, a major technology supplier for NASA, to relocate their North American R&D Center to Antioch, which will result in the creation of well-paid, much needed jobs for skilled workers. I also worked with the city of Zion to invest in job growth through the construction and operation of the Lake County Fielders' Stadium and retail complex.

What are your top priorities for the state-

Creating jobs is definitely my priority on the state level as well. In addition, enhancing ethical standards in state government is also one of my major priorities. I voted to remove Rod Blagojevich and ban him from ever holding office again, and then helped pass a constitutional amendment (HJRCA31) that will appear on the ballot this fall to allow citizens to vote for the right to recall their governor in the future. I was also the chief co-sponsor for historic campaign contribution limits that became law (Public Act 96-0832), so that politicians cannot accept unlimited campaign donations from unions, big businesses and special interests.

Lay out your plan to solve the state budget crisis. Be as specific as possible, including any recommended spending cuts. Given a massive deficit, what areas would you prioritize for state spending- What can Illinois do without- I do not believe the plan to fix the state budget crisis should include any increases in taxes. I voted against a 67 percent income tax increase, which was promoted by Senate President John Cullerton. I also oppose the tax increase advocated by Governor Quinn. I voted against a bailout of the Chicago Transit Authority pushed by Speaker Madigan and former President Emil Jones that resulted in higher taxes in Lake County. Higher taxes in this economy are not the way to fix the state's financial problems.

Illinois must end waste and mismanagement of funds to solve our budget woes. One way to end these abuses is the establishment of the Public Benefits Fraud Task Force. Nobody should be able to take advantage of responsible Illinois taxpayers by getting undeserved assistance. I co-chair this task force, and we believe that we may be able to save the state up to an estimated $1.5 billion by reducing fraud. In addition to recouping needed state funds, the task force will determine if harsher penalties are necessary for public benefits fraud.

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- I reject increasing the state income tax, I voted against a proposal that would have resulted in a 67 percent increase in these dire economic times. In this economy I don't think Illinois residents should have to pay more of their income in taxes. I also voted against sales tax increases to bail out Chicago and the Regional Transportation Authority. I oppose taxing retirement income.

What is your view on state borrowing to pay bills, including to pay pension obligations-

Borrowing to pay state bills should be a last resort. But as the economy is in peril, the vast majority of the nation, 48 states, has seen state revenues drop. State government needs to live up to its obligations, including properly funding our pension system. That is why I voted for pension legislation (Public Act 96-0889) to fund these obligations. We needed to restructure our pension system going forward to make the state more economically viable. Making these big picture reforms can put the state in the position where it does not have to borrow to pay bills in the future.

Did the General Assembly abdicate its responsibility this year and last year by passing a lump sum budget-

The governor is the chief executive officer of the state of Illinois, and we empowered him to make difficult choices. Due to the dire straights of the state budget the decision was made to give the governor emergency budget powers. This was not the first time a governor was given these powers. Hopefully in future years a lump sum budget can be avoided.

The state last spring created a two-tier pension system. Would you go further by including new police officers and new firefighters and by reducing benefits for current employees- Would you support making retired state employees pay more for their health care-

I would not support making retired state employees pay more for their health care. Also reducing benefits for current employees is not on the table as a viable or fair option in my opinion. As far as changing the pension benefits for new police officers and new firefighters, I will have to take that issue under further consideration.

How would you reform the state Medicaid system- Illinois spends a low amount of funds on Medicaid relative to the number of people who live in our state. I sponsored a law that streamlines the auditing and accreditation for the state health service agencies in an effort to reduce waste and inefficiencies (PA 96-1141). I supported legislation that would require at least 3/4ths of Medicaid participants to be enrolled in a managed care program. I think we should re-evaluate the program qualificationsᅡï¾-for instance, a recent review revealed that there are individuals enrolled in the Allkids program who are not even residents of Illinois. This type of abuse contributes to the state budget debt. There should be new checks and balances to ensure that only eligible individuals are receiving benefits. That is why I supported private auditing of and more transparency in the Medicaid system (PA 96-0941 and PA 96-0942). I might be willing to consider other reforms if cost-savings are created by greater accountability. We just have to be very careful. We do not want to institute reforms that actually make the Medicaid system more expensive to manage.

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- Creating jobs and stabilizing our local economy are my top priorities for northern Lake County. In order to attract new business, Illinois must offer better incentives to high-tech industries that have a strong potential for growth and job creation.

This is why I sponsored the Illinois Innovation Zone Act to attract new businesses to our state (SB 3638). In my district, I was actively involved in the effort to bring Parker Hannifin, a major technology supplier for NASA, to relocate their North American R&D Center to Antioch, which will result in the creation of well paid, high skill jobs in Lake County. I also supported Angel Investment Tax Credits (SB 3710), which provide a 25% tax credit to individuals who invest in Illinois based start-up companies.

As Chairman of the Telecommunications and Technology Committee, I championed a complete update of Illinois' antiquated telecommunications regulations. The Telecom Bill (SB 107) I sponsored opens the door for increased investment in Illinois for new broadband technologies, creates new jobs and continues to protect consumer rights and keep land-line service costs low.

Illinois must also take the lead in working to attract "green" industries to our state, and we can do more than just provide incentives. I sponsored legislation (PA 96-0896) to easily identify public buildings that are designed for energy efficiency. I also supported legislation that ramps up Illinois' solar energy output which will create 5,000 new jobs (PA 96-1437) and a law that provides loans to small green manufacturers (PA 96-1413). It is critical for us as a state to make the companies we are trying to attract aware that we in government have the same commitment to our environment.

The Illinois Constitution says the state has the "primary responsibility" for funding education. How would you make the state live up to that obligation- Education must be a top priority in Illinois. As we consider future budgets, we must make cuts and root out waste and mismanagement in order to properly fund education. Also, I see the value in starting more charter schools that is why I voted to increase the number of charter schools in Illinois (PA 96-0105). These schools have a solid source of oversight and they can really hone in on developing the entire student. I support funding these charter schools because they are an investment in our children, and their education is an investment in our future.

When our students finish high school, it is important that they have resources as they pursue higher education. That is why I am a proponent of the College and Career Readiness Program, which is a collaborative effort between community colleges and high schools. In Lake County, high school graduates can prepare to excel in higher education through this program. Students are reached before they graduate from high school, and are encouraged and mentored. Teams of college students, some from the College of Lake County, visit local high schools and help students, specifically high school juniors, with standardized tests and course work, putting them on a path to identify their professional careers.

How would you improve the campaign finance law passed in 2009- Would you support capping donations from party leaders during general elections-

I believe the campaign finance reform law that passed in 2009 was a positive step towards changing the system. However, I believe we should also cap donations from party leaders during general elections. The Illinois Reform Commission proposed limits of $2,400 from individuals and $5,000 from committees. I believe these are fair and reasonable recommendations. Additionally, I support revisiting the other recommendations made by the Illinois Reform Commission that have not been addressed at this point.

Do state Legislative leaders have too much power- Yes, legislative leaders do have too much power. I support campaign contribution caps for legislative leaders, and I support reviewing all the recommendations made by the Illinois Reform Commission, which include term limits, new rules to ensure that every bill with sufficient support can be called for a vote, and significant reforms to the redistricting process.

Every legislator should use their power in a responsibly manner to best serve their district. As the state has dealt with numerous ethics violations it is increasingly important that going forward we have reforms in place that keep legislators from abusing their power.

Should the state play an active role in reducing global warming- If so, how- The state should work with the federal government and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to find practical, cost-effective ways to reduce global warming and champion technologies that will reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environment. Illinois is in a position to be a national leader in creating a viable green economy for the 21st Century. I was a co-sponsor of the $31 billion capital construction plan, passed last spring, which creates many new green construction projects and weatherization jobs, protects and improves the state's fresh water supplies, and advances the development of high-speed rail. Many of the projects funded by this program will be LEED-certified. I led the fight to enact Illinois' net-metering law, which will encourage the growth of alternative energy sources and reduce costs to consumers and businesses (PA 95-0420). We can also work to advance state government operations to better prevent pollution, buy environmentally friendly products for state use, and recycle.

What is your view on gay marriage and civil unions-

I support civil unions. I believe that same-sex couples living in Illinois should have the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to financial, medical, inheritance and death benefits. I believe civil unions are the best way to guarantee these rights for same-sex couples.

List your educational backgroundBachelor of Arts, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale - Economics, 1992

Masters of Business Administration, Roosevelt University Chicago, IL - Finance, 1997

Please list civic, professional, fraternal or other organizations to which you belongFormer Member of the Board of Education for Woodland District 50 Consolidated Schools

Member of St. Gilbert's Church

Active in many youth sports including t-ball and soccer parent coaching

Event coordinator and sponsor of annual youth orienteer event (map and compass reading skills)

Neighborhood highway clean-up

Local Sierra Club member

Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government- Woodland School Board District Member (2005-2009)

State Senator, 31st District (2006-present)

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

N/A

Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributedIllinois Senate Democrats Victory Fund ($18,834.38)

Eight District Democrats and Independents ($5,400.00)

Lake County Federation of Teachers ($5,300.00)

John Corrigan & Associates ($2,500.00)

Fred Eychaner ($2,000.00)

Please paste a brief biography hereState Senator Michael Bond (D-Grayslake) represents the Illinois' 31st district. A native of downstate Illinois, Michael received his Bachelor's degree in Economics from Southern Illinois University in 1992, and his MBA in Finance from Roosevelt University in 1997. Prior to being elected to the Senate he held various finance and budgeting positions with Allstate Insurance Company, most recently Director of Corporate Finance. Bond and his wife live in Grayslake with their three children. #Comments_Container, #Comments_Container1,#commentsonly,.StoryInteract{display:none;}

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