The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent nominees 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 and their districts.
Margo McDermed, the Republican incumbent in the 37th district race, submitted the following responses:
Please explain what cause or causes you will make priorities.
McDermed: reduce regulatory burden on businesses and schools in IL
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.
- reduce property taxes
- continue to fund K-12 education
Who is Margo McDermed?
She’s running for: Illinois House of Representatives, 37th District Her political/civic background:
- State Represetative, 2015-present
- Will County Board 2012-2014
- Frankfort Twp Clerk 2009-2012
Her occupation: retired corporate lawyer, State Rep Her education: JD, DePaul University College of Law Campaign website: margomcdermed.com Twitter: @repmcdermed
What are the most important differences between you and your opponent?
McDermed: experience in public service, tax policy
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?
McDermed: change the economic calculus so people feel their future in IL will be financially sustainable for themselves and their children
In 2017, our state’s unfunded pension liability ballooned to more than $130 billion. What’s to be done about that?
McDermed: no more defined benefit pensions for new employees, pension buyouts, outlaw spiking
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?
McDermed: merit aid for IL students
What laws, if any, should the Legislature pass to address the problem of gun violence?
McDermed: charter schools encouragement, more job creation, prosecute racism in employment
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?
McDermed: no. regulatory burden on IL business already punishing
Should recreational marijuana be legalized in Illinois? Please explain.
McDermed: no. it has not worked out well where it has passed for local government who assumes the burdens of the experiment while the state collects the revenue.
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?
McDermed: keep working on mental health options and treatment options. we have passed a number of bills to address the issue on both those fronts
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?
McDermed: think we should cease subsidizing technology that no longer needs subsidy. oh, and where are those jobs? any yet?
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?
McDermed: verdict out on managed care. so far many glitches but could still be promising. we do need to manage the most expensive drivers of medicaid cost.
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?
McDermed: yes. more funding for services particularly education
Should the state restore the practice of parole for people sentenced to long terms? Why or why not?
McDermed: that’s under study. probably. lock a person up and throw away the key almost never the only solution.
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.