Democrat Kathleen Carrier is the Sun-Times’ endorsed candidate in the 42nd Illinois House district race. Carrier is seeking an open seat and faces Republican Amy Grant.
The Chicago Sun-Times sent the candidates seeking nominations for the Illinois House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois.
Carrier submitted the following answers to our questionnaire.
Please explain what cause or causes you will make priorities.
Property taxes and the burdensome effect on homeowners.
Women’s healthcare issues. Making sure we have programs in place that will offer women affordable healthcare options. Also, mental healthcare and dealing with the opioid crisis. As well as teen suicide.
Economy. Building up/invigorating job growth and the economy in Illinois.
Please list three concerns that are highly specific to your district, such as a project that should be undertaken or a state policy related to some local issue that must be changed. *
The opioid epidemic is something that needs to addressed in DuPage Co. Treatment centers and mental health funding.
Property taxes. As I walk the district knocking on doors, one of the top issues, most talked about, is property taxes and how problematic it’s becoming. Property taxes are very burdensome, particularly for middle-class families and the working poor. Therefore, I would support efforts to freeze property taxes. However, we should also consider taking it a step further by expanding exemptions to our middle-class families, seniors and veterans, while remaining mindful of the potential impact on our local municipalities
We need to find ways to attract businesses, which will create job growth and boost the economy. This can happen, in part, by having a well-educated, well trained work force.
Who is Kathleen Carrier?
Her legislative District: House 42
Her political/civic background
Precinct committeeman, 2003 – present
Former Chair, Wayne Township Democratic Party
Former Chair, Y.W.C.A. DuPage District
Former Church Council member
Volunteered with 4 – H
Volunteered with DuPage PADS
Her occupation: Family caregiver
Her education: National Louis University, Bachelor of Science
Campaign website: www.votecarrier4rep.com
What are the most important differences between you and your opponent?
Carrier: Once elected, I know I am representing all of the residents of the district. Democrats, Republicans, Green Party, Libertarian and the people who are not engaged with the political process. I intend to be a public servant, not a politician. I will be the voice of the district, for the district.
Illinois is now the sixth-most populated state, down from No. 5, after 33,703 people moved out between July 2016 and July 2017. What must the Legislature do to make Illinois a more desirable place to live?
Carrier: One of top issues is property taxes. As stated, we need to address the high property tax issue. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for young people to purchase a home due to the property tax burden. Therefore, I would support efforts to freeze property taxes.
Additionally, we need to find ways to attract businesses and create job growth to boost the economy. This can happen, in part, by having robust vocational training in place. Let’s create a well-trained work force by being forward-thinking and welcoming the renewable energy sector. We have the potential to attack renewable energy companies and create jobs.
In 2017, our state’s unfunded pension liability ballooned to more than $130 billion. What’s to be done about that?
Carrier: There is no easy solution to this dilemma and it is a dilemma. The unfunded pension liability is a multi-faceted issue which is literally decades in the making. Both parties neglected to make sufficient contributions to the fund. Coupled with the unforeseen impact the recession/depression caused. The return on investment was void. There is no “quick fix.” I am, however, willing to come to the table with an open mind and work hard to find a solution.
From 2000 to 2016, the number of Illinois residents who enrolled as college freshmen outside the state increased by 73% (20,507 to 35,445). Why are so many more Illinois residents going to college elsewhere? What should be done to encourage more of them to go to school here?
Carrier: The current governor slashed funds for higher education, financial aid and MAP Grants. When you add that to the overall cost of college, it has become cost prohibitive to attend college in the state of Illinois. Additionally, this will cost Illinois millions in lifetime tax revenue. As well as, lost entrepreneurial opportunities. The simple answer, we need to restore funding and make college more affordable.
What laws, if any, should the Legislature pass to address the problem of gun violence?
Carrier: Common sense reforms. More concise measure for state licensing of all gun dealers, banning bump stocks and military-style assault rifles.
On-demand scheduling software now helps large retail companies determine how many staff members they will need on a day-to-day or even hour-to-hour basis. The downside is that employees may not receive their work schedules until the last minute. Oregon and a number of cities have responded by adopting “fair scheduling” laws. Would it be appropriate for the Illinois Legislature to pass a “fair scheduling” law? Please explain. What would such a law look like?
I would support establishing fair scheduling policies in Illinois. Many shift workers have families and depend on childcare during their scheduled shifts. If called in on short notice, they may not be able to find adequate childcare. This is a matter of family safety. Also, many shift works live pay check to pay check. If their scheduled shift is cancelled, it will cause additional financial burden. These workers need economic fairness.
Should recreational marijuana be legalized in Illinois? Please explain.
Carrier: One of the ways we can crack down on opioid drug abuse is by permanently legalize the use of medical marijuana. We need to work with law enforcement on ways to measure impaired driving before we legalize recreational marijuana.
Opioid overdoses and fatalities continue to rise in number. In Illinois in 2017, there were 13,395 opioid overdoses, including 2,110 deaths. What should the Legislature do, if anything, about this?
Carrier: We can start by increasing access to Narcan. Funding mental health/addiction treatment and community based resources.
The Future Energy Jobs Act, passed in 2016, is generating job growth in renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. Do you agree or disagree with the objectives and substance of the Act? What more — or less — should be done?
Carrier: I would support the creation of green jobs.
This can happen, in part, by having robust vocational training in place. Let’s create a well-trained work force by being forward-thinking and welcoming the green jobs sector. We have great potential to create jobs.
What would you do to ensure the long-term viability of the state’s Medicaid program? What is your view on managed care for Medicaid beneficiaries?
Carrier: We need to work together to ensure we strengthen the Medicaid system. Managed care organizations tend to put profits ahead of patients. The current Governor gave out-of-state managed care organizations some of the largest contracts in Illinois history. We must take a patients not profit approach.
Underfunding at the Department of Corrections has led to troubling findings by the auditor general that many inmates don’t receive services or opportunities for work while incarcerated. Is this a legitimate concern? What should the Legislature do?
Carrier: This calls for the need to continue to pass bipartisan budgets and invest in resources for our community.
Should the state restore the practice of parole for people sentenced to long terms? Why or why not?
Carrier: I would need to consult with local law enforcement agencies and victim advocacy groups.
Ahead of the historic 2018 elections, the Sun-Times is teaming up weekly with the Better Government Association, in print and online, to fact-check the truthfulness of the candidates. You can find all of the PolitiFact Illinois stories we’ve reported together here.