Anna Moeller: 2022 candidate for Illinois House 43rd District

  • Anna Moeller

    Anna Moeller

 
Updated 10/18/2022 11:47 AM

Bio

Party: Democrat

 

Office sought: Illinois House 43rd District

City: Elgin

Age: 50

Occupation: State Representative

Previous offices held: Elgin City Council

Q&A

Q: What needs to be done structurally to make the legislature more effective? What is your position on term limits in general and for legislative leaders specifically?

A: We made significant reforms to increase accountability in the House of Representatives over the past two years. The most significant is the election of a new Speaker of the House, after several decades of leadership under former Speaker Madigan. I was part of the group of 19 Democrats who led this historic change in leadership. The leadership change also led to the institution of a 10-year term limit on the Speaker of the House, which I supported and co-sponsored. For rank and file legislators, our democratic institutions have term-limits built into the system through elections every two to four years. In states with strict term limits, unelected officials, such as lobbyists and bureaucrats often have more influence over the legislative process than elected officials because they can serve for years and amass significant institutional power.

Q: Federal assistance has enabled the state to make important advances toward improving its budget. What will you do to ensure these advances continue when the federal aid is gone?

A: Our state finances were already improving before the pandemic struck and the federal government provided Covid-19 relief. We were back on track after the disastrous Rauner Administration left the state with $17 billion in unpaid bills. We were able to improve our financial position by making smart budget decisions, such as diversifying our revenue sources, closing corporate tax loopholes, increasing federal Medicaid match for qualified programs and making smart investments in programs that save the state money in the long-term. Today, our state finances are in the best shape they've been in years. We had several credit upgrades just in the past year, which will save taxpayers millions on bonds to pay for vital infrastructure, we have a $1 billion rainy-day fund to help with any future downturns in the economy and the backlog of unpaid bills has been eliminated.

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Q: To what extent are you happy or unhappy with the evidence-based model for education funding now in place in Illinois? How would you define "adequate" state funding for Illinois schools and what will you do to promote that?

A: School districts have historically relied heavily on local property taxes for much of its funding. This has led to property taxes that are the some of the highest in the nation and an unfair and inequitable funding system. That system perpetuated a cycle of inequality and lower educational outcomes. I support the evidenced-based funding model (EBM) because it increases overall school funding and sends more resources to Illinois' most under-resourced students, including those in the school districts that I represent, U-46 and D300. Since EBM was implemented, the percentage of state funding for U-46 and D300 budget have increased. And last year we added an additional $1 billion in education funding in the state budget. These are important steps toward ensuring all schools have the resources they need to provide a safe, rigorous and well-rounded learning environment for all students.

Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?

A: Illinois' elections are free and fair. Unfortunately, there are dark forces who spread misinformation regarding the security of our elections and who cast doubt on legitimate election outcomes. These unfounded claims and movements grounded in conspiracy-theories are a danger to our democracy and must be refuted and debunked.

A legitimate and historical challenge in our country is ensuring that everyone who wants to vote, can vote. Unlike states where voter access is once again being threatened by unnecessary barriers and regulations and reduced voting locations, Illinois has made great strides to make it easier for voters to cast their ballot including: increasing early voting periods, allowing for same day voter registration, allowing the installation and use of secure ballot boxes, instituting no-excuse and permanent vote-by-mail provisions and making Election Day a state holiday.

Q: How well has Illinois responded to Supreme Court indications that it considers abortion, gay marriage and other social issues to be state, not federal, responsibilities? What if anything needs to be done in these areas and what would you do to make your vision come to pass?

A: Illinois is better positioned than most of our neighboring states because of actions we've taken to protect access to reproductive healthcare and same-sex marriage. States are now the last line of defense to protect these rights, so it's crucial that we elect leaders who respect the autonomy of women and the LGBTQ+ community. Nevertheless, more work needs to be done, as our neighboring states have made it clear they will target women and doctors exercising these rights legally in states like Illinois. I supported legislation to protect doctors from being penalized by other states for providing reproductive healthcare in Illinois. As a member of the Dobbs- Reproductive Rights Working Group, I am working with advocates on additional measures that will be needed to guarantee that women who need reproductive healthcare will be able access care.

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