Mary Edly-Allen: 2022 candidate for Illinois Senate District 31
Office sought: Illinois Senate District 31
Occupation: Assistant Director of Adult Education and Instructor, Mundelein High School
Previous offices held: State Representative, District 51
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: I support the steps the legislature took to close the "Revolving Door" loophole to stop members of the General Assembly from becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving the GA. I also support term limits for legislative leaders. We must continue to push for stricter ethics laws for elected officials.
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: Illinois must continue to pass responsible balanced budgets just as the Governor and General Assembly did before the stimulus money arrived. Under the leadership of Gov. JB Pritzker and the General Assembly, Illinois has received five credit upgrades in one year. Receiving these credit upgrades will allow Illinois to borrow at a lower interest rate, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years.
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: The evidence-based funding model for public education is working even if it is not moving as fast as we would like it to. As long as the General Assembly holds up their end of the bargain, I believe the funding formula will continue to work and bring us closer to equitable access to education across the state. This progress is illustrated by the fact that there were 168 districts being funded at less than 60% adequacy before evidence-based funding went into effect. Now going into the 2022-2023 school year, there are only two districts being funded at 60% adequacy. I will fight to ensure that the General Assembly continues to fund the formula adequately each year so we can continue to build on this progress.
Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?
A: Absolutely, elections in Illinois and around the country are free and fair. We have dedicated people on both
sides of the aisle who work tirelessly to ensure our elections are free and fair. To cast doubt on our election process for personal political gain is extremely dangerous to our Democracy and downright wrong. We need to take a look at how we expand access to voting and make it easier to vote, not harder.
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: We have done a lot of great work to ensure that the rights of all individuals are protected in Illinois. Passing legislation such as the Reproductive Health Act and making improvements to Illinois' Human Rights Act were crucial to protecting the rights of all Illinoisans. However, there is more work to be done. Neighboring states are passing radical anti-abortion bills that force women to travel to Illinois to receive needed health care, and doctors who perform necessary procedures are under attack. We need to pass legislation that protects Illinois residents and medical professionals from being singled out for providing abortion services. Abortion care is health care.