Gordon ‘Jay’ Kinzler, the Republican in the 46th district race, is challenging the incumbent, Democrat Deb Conroy.
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.
Kinzler submitted the following responses, and watch his video to learn why he’s running.
Please explain what cause or causes you will make priorities.
- I will lower property taxes.
- We pay the highest property taxes in the U.S. I have lowered property taxes in local government.
- I will repeal the income tax hike.
- Families are struggling to make ends meet. My opponent just raised income taxes on them by 32%.
- I will support core services for those truly in need.
- Term Limits.
- End Madigan’s corrupt one-party system.
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.
- Lower property taxes
- Lower Income taxes
- Term Limits
- Support core Services
Who is Gordon (Jay) Kinzler?
He’s running for: Illinois House of Representatives, 46th District His political/civic background:
- Colonel U.S. Army Reserve
- Previous President of Elmhurst Hospital Medical Staff
- Previous President of Glen Ellyn Park District Board
- Previous Chairman of the Department of Surgery Elmhurst Hospital
His occupation: Transplant Surgeon/Physician His education: Loyola Stritch School of Medicine Campaign website: KinzlerforIllinois.com Twitter: @DrJayKinzler
What are the most important differences between you and your opponent?
Kinzler: I will not be taking a legislative pension from the state. My opponent will be a millionaire if she is elected to one more term for working 8 years at a part time job. I don’t believe legislators from a bankrupt state should be getting public pensions funded by tax payers who are struggling to get by.
I have not taken 1.3 million dollars from Madigan and the ruling class as has my opponent. I will be an independent representative and answer to my constituents.
I am honest.
I have a college degree in the sciences, a medical degree, and post medical school residency and fellowship training.
I believe in term limits and will abide by them.
SUN-TIMES 2018 ILLINOIS VOTING GUIDE
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?
Kinzler: We need to keep residents and businesses from fleeing the state and get Illinois’ tax base growing again by:
- Lowering property taxes.
- Lowering income taxes.
- Eliminate corruption by getting rid of Madigan and his cronies.
- Lowering expenses.
- Reduce or eliminate mandates and regulations like the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.
- Championing reform and making the tough choices.
- Support core services
- Winning this district and several others across the state and depose Madigan as Speaker of the House.
- Many Illinoisans are paying more in property taxes than their mortgages.
- End government corruption of Madigan and my opponent.
There is a way to stop the exodus. If we can win our district and just a few others across the state, we can depose Madigan and his cronies from their ultimate dictatorial control. This will give hope to those taxpaying residents and businesses that have one foot out of Illinois but have not left yet. If we can win and give them some hope of spending reform and tax relief we can get them to stay. Together we can grow ourselves out of the mess Madigan and my opponent have got us in. More jobs, more prosperity, more tax base, and more hope. We can do it.
In 2017, our state’s unfunded pension liability ballooned to more than $130 billion. What’s to be done about that?
Kinzler: Reform the pension system in a fair way. Go to a 401 K style plan where possible and with all new hires. Change the constitution or the Illinois Supreme Court Justices.
- All new and recent employees in 401 K plans.
- Increase age when eligible except with police and fire.
- Change the yearly cost of living increase to CPI from the current 3%.
- Intend to make good on promises made unless money runs out and state becomes financially insolvent.
Specifically, the legislature needs to:
- Pass an amendment changing the pension protection clause of the state constitution. Pension benefits for services not yet delivered by government workers should be able to be modified.
- All new hires enter a 401(k)-style self-managed plan. Lawmakers don’t have to create a new, untested 401(k)-style plan. We can use a plan similar to the State Universities Retirement System’s Self-Managed Plan for all state workers. It is a 401(k)-style plan that’s been operating for nearly 20 years and is used by over 20,000 members.
- Re-negotiate pension obligations with current workers and retirees. We need to protect current plans from insolvency. All stake holders need to sit down together in order solve this problem once and for all.
Madigan and my opponent just sit by and wait for the inevitable disaster to occur. I will fight for our current police, fire and state employees and retirees so they have financial security in the future.
I will support legislation that consolidates local governments and gives individual municipalities the right to pick the retirement plan they offer their public safety and municipal workers, whether it’s a 401(k)-style plan, or another option.
Taxpayers need to be treated fairly and not driven out of the state by the costs of unfunded and unrealistic pension promises.
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?
Kinzler: Give Illinois students a bigger discount compared students coming from out of state. Not give tax payer funded subsidizes to illegal immigrants but give them instead to the children of Illinois residents. Give in-state students a preference at our in-state schools like other states do for their students. After all, their parents have been paying Illinois taxes their whole life and should get a benefit of an affordable, quality education for their kids.
What laws, if any, should the Legislature pass to address the problem of gun violence?
Kinzler: We need to be proactive and use common sense when it comes to preventing gun violence. There are many laws in the books particularly in Chicago, yet Chicago residents see more gun violence than anywhere in the country. Laws need to be enforced.
We need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers and the mentally ill. I think there needs to be reasonable checks to make sure guns cannot be purchased by those who will do harm to others with them.
Family members should be empowered by the courts to be able to petition for the temporary removal of guns from emotionally or mentally disturbed people who may be a danger to themselves or others.
I don’t think the emotionally or mentally disturbed should even have guns.
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?
Kinzler: With the national economy booming the unemployment rate is plummeting. Because of the improved economy workers are in more demand. This will lead to workers having access to more hours of work if they desire.
We also need to stress the importance of education and advanced job training to give Illinois residents better opportunities for prosperity.
Due to the poor leadership of Madigan and my opponent Illinois is trailing the surrounding states in most economic measures including job growth. This can be corrected in the next election by voting them out.
Should recreational marijuana be legalized in Illinois? Please explain.
Kinzler: No. It is a gate way drug. It does not have a net positive effect on society. Not opposed to medical use if indicated. I am not in favor of severe criminal penalties for use.
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?
Kinzler: Huge and growing problem. 99 people die of opioid overdose per day in US. The opioid problem is growing in DuPage county. We have developed an opioid task force at Elmhurst Hospital. I have been educating our local community groups about our program. Awareness, Education, intervention, alternative therapies, family and community support and follow up are all essential ingredients to reducing and hopefully eliminating the opioid problem.
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?
Kinzler: I agree with the objectives. Nonrenewable energy sources will eventually run out and therefore it is always a good idea to prepare for the future. Renewable energy is cleaner and better for the environment. The cost of development is high. In Illinois our current political ruling class led by Madigan has created huge financial deficits in our state government. Had we had better leaders that were better stewards of tax payer’s dollars there would be more money to develop these programs at a faster rate and in a bigger way.
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?
Kinzler: More than 25 % of Illinoisans have Medicaid. That is too many for state taxpayers to afford to support. We need to reduce the expansion of Medicaid and limit it to those who truly need it. With the economy improving nationally (although slower in Illinois) the unemployment rate is dropping. With more residents working, more residents will be able to obtain health insurance through their employers.
Managed care done efficiently may increase quality and reduce costs in the long run. But it has to be done right.
Everyone should have access to healthcare. Medicaid should be for those who are truly in need and have no other alternative.
I have spent my life taking care of those in medical need. I have first hand experience in how healthcare works and what is wrong with it. I think I can fix it. If elected I will be the only “Doctor in the House”.
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?
Kinzler: There is underfunding and mismanagement of funds in many divisions of Illinois government. This is the result of one party rule by Madigan for decades. The solution is to win our race and few others and depose him as speaker of the house. Then we can get Illinois’ House in financial order. Only then will be able to do an adequate job of providing core services to the truly needy.
All residents including prisoners are entitled to basic human rights and services. Society will benefit in the long run if prisoners while incarcerated have opportunities for job training and ability to work so when they are released they have a better chance at becoming productive citizens.
Should the state restore the practice of parole for people sentenced to long terms? Why or why not?
Kinzler: That should be up to the judicial system and the juries’ decisions. Those sentenced to long terms usually committed more serious crimes. Victims and society need to be protected from them committing crimes again.
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.