Linda R. Robertson: 2022 candidate for Illinois House 65th District
Office sought: Illinois House 65th District
City: St. Charles
Occupation: Retired environmental/industrial microbiologist
Previous offices held: Precinct Committee Person
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: One can argue the pros and cons of term limits. Normally people gain more wisdom and insight the longer
they are on the job, but some people's performance quite frankly diminishes. Accountability, not term limits, is the primary solution: dissatisfied voters can "fire" their elected representatives. As a scientist and businesswoman, I know that there is great value in institutional memory, but without an ongoing infusion of new energy and perspectives, progress can stagnate. Allowing new voices and new ideas at the leadership level is important. The legislature would be more effective if we, the voters, elect legislators who are willing to listen, collaborate and, even compromise with the goal of making decisions that serve the real needs of constituents, not lobbyists and funders.
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' debt increased severely when the former governor wouldn't sign the budget, incurring late payment penalties, plunging us into further debt. We must determine how to minimize tax hikes without harming vulnerable Illinoisans who rely on state services.
Illinois has more layers of general-purpose local government than any other state in the country. Sixty-one percent of Illinois's residents live under at least three layers of general-purpose local government; in 40 other states, residents never have more than two layers.
Duties of the Illinois townships can be efficiently taken care of at the county level. I propose addressing these overlapping and unnecessary governmental layers, which add to the tax burden.
Prioritizing and leveraging our excellent research and educational institutions, our highly educated workforce and our natural and water resources to attract new dollars to our state. We must verify that state funds are being effectively allocated and spent.
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 board members I have spoken with find that evidence based funding across the state is equitable and fair. In addition, school state funding is on time and reliable for first time in many years. I will continue to support evidence-based funding.
Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?
A: Elections in Illinois are free and fair, however, I think elections would benefit from a vote by mail system used in Oregon and Washington. This leaves a paper trail and eliminates the need for new voting machines at polling places. It would cut costs for local government.
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 has done an outstanding job protecting citizen's privacy rights, reproductive choices and same sex marriage. Protection of reproductive healthcare choices was passed into law in 2019. Same sex marriage has been allowed in Illinois since 2014. Those protections allow Illinois citizens to make personal private decisions that impact their lives.