Tom Weber: 2022 candidate for Illinois House District 64
Office sought: Illinois House District 64
City: Lake Villa
Occupation: State Representative/Contractor/Carpenter
Previous offices held: State Representative/Lake County Board Member/Lake County Forest Preserve Commissioner
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 need Term Limits, especially when it comes to leadership. Mike Madigan is a prime example of someone who was in power for way too long. Our Legislative Inspector General needs everything needed to investigate lawmakers and allow the office to issue subpoenas independently of the Legislative Ethics Commission. We must prohibit lawmakers and spouses from also being lobbyists.
Many good bills with little to no opposition that will never be heard. The House Democrats (under both Madigan and Welch) have used the Rules Committee to throttle reforms threatening their fiefdoms. We need a system that ensures a fair hearing. We also need budget-making reforms, pension reform, and fair maps.
It is a slap in the face of every Illinoisan that the Democrats controlling the legislature openly admit that districts were purposely drawn to support the re-election of Democrat incumbents. Illinois residents are fed up with self-dealing politicians and lack trust in our government.
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: I have seen the "new revenue streams," federal money, recreational marijuana money, and other gimmicks to justify increased spending. New taxes usually precede or follow the new spending.
Many families are finding it hard to make ends meet. Tax hikes combined with inflation are hurting every family's bottom line. Unfunded pension liabilities continue to crowd out basic government services taxpayers expect.
I have seen no attempt or even concern from the democrats in addressing the pension crisis. What we have seen is an increase in taxes and fees and an increase in salary, programs, and benefits. There lies the problem. The state does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. Illinois taxpayers have had enough and it is time for meaningful reform. Continued tax hikes will only inflict more damage on Illinois' economy and drive more residents and employers out of our state. These are serious issues that require leaders, not tax and spend politicians.
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: Evidence-based funding was a step in the right direction but there is a lot of work still to do. The Illinois Constitution says that the State is required to be the primary source of funding for education. Education
funding has, rather, become too reliant on local property taxes. I hear those complaints on a daily basis from families trying to make ends meet. We should encourage consolidation to drive down property taxes. Too many districts in our state have top-heavy administrative costs that keep state funds from getting to teachers and students. We need to put an end to bloated bureaucracies. Every Illinois student deserves a quality education and to have the opportunity to succeed.
Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?
A: Volunteers and poll workers do an exemplary job in running generally free and fair elections in Illinois.
We need to improve election integrity related to ballot drop boxes. Ballot drop boxes were brought to Illinois with no criteria for placement of boxes nor how they were to be secured or video-monitored.
With the way redistricting is conducted in Illinois, many of us recognize the deck is stacked against reformers well before Election Day. The Democrat Redistricting Committee Chair in the House admitted on the House Floor, under questioning, that the senate, legislative and other districts specifically were drawn to help the democrat party or for the benefit of the incumbent Democrat elected official for re-election. Illinoisians deserve a fair map when they vote just like Governor JB Pritzker promised when running for office before breaking his promise when elected.
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: The Illinois legislature has not changed any laws restricting abortion access, where our laws are some of the most unrestrictive in the country. The only thing that was changed is democrats eliminated parental notification of abortion for minor children. I believe that every parent has the right to know everything about their child's health and well-being, with clear exceptions for cases of abuse.