Kevin Wallace: 2022 candidate for Illinois House District 49
Office sought: Illinois House District 49
Occupation: Financial adviser, Avantax Wealth Management
Previous offices held: Bartlett Village President since 2013
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: Part of what needs to be done is less structural and more compliance-based. We already have the requirement for a balanced budget and to start the budgeting process by setting and adhering to a revenue estimate. If this were followed, we could be more confident that the process was in all Illinois residents' best interests. If a homeowner or a business owner budgeted the way our state government does, they would be bankrupt.
Our state is in dire need of ethics reform to rein in corruption. A few of the reforms I would like to address in the legislature include restricting legislators from becoming lobbyists during or right after their service and empowering the Legislative Inspector General to have subpoena power. Finally, I also support term limits and would allow for appropriate negotiation about the length of terms in the legislature moving forward.
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: We must make financial decisions for the betterment of taxpayers. State leadership failed to use federal assistance to shore up the unemployment trust fund, making the state pay the federal government millions in interest. Our state budgeting system is broken, and we must fix the process to ensure Springfield politicians do not continue to overspend and overtax.
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: I have the honor of periodically meeting with the principals of our local schools for breakfast. It has always been my top priority as a mayor to join alongside the leaders of our schools to provide whatever type of assistance we can as a village. We need to look hard at better ways to fund our schools. Many of our residents are fed up with high property taxes throughout the region.
The Illinois Constitution requires the state to be the primary funding source for education. Every school should have the same opportunities, no matter its location in the state. Given this scenario doesn't exist, I will work to make this promise of equal opportunity a reality for all students in the state of Illinois.
Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?
A: Our elections are free and fair. Still, our voter rolls need to be continually updated, accounting for address changes, deaths, and those moving outside of the state. With modern technology, we should be able to keep an up-to-date system that is accurate in every jurisdiction in Illinois.
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: Nothing changed in Illinois following the Dobbs decision. We still have some of the most permissive abortion laws in the nation. I disagree entirely with how the Democrats repealed the Parental Notice of Abortion (PNA) Law. Parents have a right to know about their children's medical situations. In cases of abuse, appropriate protections were in place under the previous PNA law to allow medical services to minors when a parent or guardian abused the child.