Arin Thrower: 2022 candidate for Illinois House 66th District
Office sought: Illinois House 66th District
City: West Dundee
Previous offices held:
Q: How well did the Illinois government respond to the COVID-19 crisis? What do you think should be done differently?
When the pandemic first hit our state, it was a scary time for everyone. No one in our lifetime had seen or been a part of anything like this. But as we learned more about how COVID was spread, and the effects it had on people of different ages, people with different medical conditions, etc. the restrictions on our small businesses, our schools, our churches, and our families should have been greatly lessened.
While other states with similar metrics were open for business and thriving, our state was locked down and suffering. The toll these strict restrictions had on our economy and our mental health will be felt here for years to come.
Q: What are the most important components that should be included in legislative ethics reform? What will you do to help them come to pass?
Unfortunately, Illinois has a negative reputation when it comes to a culture of corruption in our politics. I believe setting term limits for every level of government is a good first step in ending decades of corruption. This allows for new ideas and fresh perspectives while limiting the influence of special interest groups.
I also believe lawmakers and their immediate family members should be prohibited from lobbying state and local officials.
Q: What should the state do to address the still-growing problems with its key pension programs?
While the state continues to fund pensions at a high level compared with other states, and a Tier 2 plan was implemented in 2010, a great deficit still remains. In 2013, legislators passed bipartisan pension reform, only to have it struck down in state court. Legislators must again address this challenge while protecting workers who have faithfully contributed to their retirement accounts over the years.
I am encouraged to see more funds put toward state pension buyout programs, which have grown in popularity over the past several years. Offering cash buyouts to avoid compound interest on future pension liability seems like a concept worth continuing to grow and expand.
Q: Describe at least two circumstances in which you have shown or would show a willingness to act independently of the direction or demands of party leadership.
For eight years, I led communications teams at first the city, then county level, where I served boards made up of both Democrats and Republicans. My current Township Board of Trustees is comprised of both parties, so I know how important first-hand it is to leave politics at the door in order to achieve success on projects and when setting policy. We have been chosen to represent our community, not just a single party, and I look forward to hearing about the issues and concerns of all our residents.
Recently, our new Township board had the opportunity to repeal a major decision the prior board had voted for. After much discussion and review, we decided to honor the work of the prior board, putting the community before politics.
Q: What should lawmakers be doing to stem out-migration from Illinois?
Residents and businesses are being driven out of Illinois because we have the nation's highest tax rates, the second-highest property taxes, the second-highest gas tax, and massive pension debt. Lawmakers must provide substantial relief when it comes to our taxes.
Q: Do you believe climate change is caused by human activity? What steps should government be taking to address the issue?
We have to better educate and demonstrate to our community members at a young age, how important it is to take responsibility for our actions every day, as we are the ones who can best protect our environment.
Q: The graduated income tax is designed with the intent to reduce taxes for 97 percent of Illinoisans. Do you believe that will happen? Why or why not? What assurances can you offer voters?
Voters in District 66 strongly defeated the graduated income tax hike in 2020. I joined them in opposing this tax hike and will fight against income tax hikes and for property tax relief in Springfield.