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Max Solomon, Illinois House 38th District Republican nominee profile

His top priorities include reforms for property taxes, pensions, education and ethics.

Max Solomon, Illinois House 38th District Republican nominee, 2020 election candidate questionnaire
Max Solomon, Illinois House 38th District Republican nominee.
Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Candidate profile

Max Solomon

Running for: State Representative, 38th District

Political party affiliation: Republican

Political/civic background: Former Trustee, Grande Prairie Public Library District

Occupation: Attorney; Actor (SAG-AFTRA)

Education: Valparaiso University School of Law, J.D.; Valparaiso University, Masters in Theology; DePaul University, B.A., Political Science

Campaign website: www.maxsolomon.org


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. Max Solomon submitted the following responses:

1. The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered the finances of Illinois. The state is staring at a $6.2 billion budget shortfall in this fiscal year. What should be done? Please be specific.

COVID-19 did not hammer the finances of Illinois. A history and track record of failed economic policies hammered the finances of Illinois. As to the $6.2 billion shortfall caused by the shut-down due to the pandemic, it should be recouped in cost-cutting measures spread over several years. Pension reform should also become a definite priority.

2. What grade — “A” to “F” — would you give Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic? Please explain. What, if anything, should he have done differently?

F. He should not have shut the State down with his executive order. He should have been more focused on solutions and encouraged personal safety measures. The pandemic was exacerbated by his alarmist, blamist reaction.

3. In the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, legislatures in some states have taken up the issue of police reform. Should Illinois do the same? If so, what would that look like?

Yes, Illinois should do what it can to improve relations between law enforcement and the public. However, I strongly oppose defunding police.

4. Should the Legislature pass a law requiring all law enforcement officers to wear body cameras? Why or why not?

I will not oppose legislation requiring all law enforcement officers to wear body cameras as long as it does not increase the burden and cost to police officers.

5. Federal prosecutors have revealed a comprehensive scheme of bribery, ghost jobs and favoritism in subcontracting by ComEd to influence the actions of House Speaker Michael Madigan. Who’s to blame? What ethics reforms should follow? Should Madigan resign?

No one is to be blamed but Madigan himself. And perhaps all his aiders and enablers in the legislature. I’ll like to see an ethics reform item requiring holders of leadership roles in the legislature to step down or be removed from their roles in the event of any actual or apparent bribery, corruption, and other specified crimes or behavior calling their character into question. Yes, he should resign. He should have resigned long ago.

6. Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or work you have done in other ways to improve your community.

I initiated and sponsored a referendum for the Village of Hazel Crest calling for term limits for all elected municipal officers. It passed overwhelmingly.

7. Please list three concerns that are specific to your district, such as a project that should be undertaken or a state policy related to an important local issue that should be revised.

High property taxes; Failing schools and school districts; property devaluation.

8. What are your other top legislative priorities?

Property tax reform; Pension reform; Education reform, Ethics reform.

9. What is your position on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax? Please explain.

I oppose Gov. Pritzker’s proposed graduated income tax. I support our flat rate taxation as provided for in our Illinois Constitution.

10. Illinois continues to struggle financially, with a backlog of unpaid bills. In addition to a progressive state income tax — or in lieu of such a tax — what should the state do to pay its bills, meet its pension obligations and fund core services such as higher education?

Pension reform

11. Should Illinois consider taxing the retirement incomes of its very wealthiest residents, as most states do? And your argument is?

No, Illinois should not consider taxing retirement incomes. No more taxes.

12. What can Illinois do to improve its elementary and high schools?

School choice

13. Mass shootings and gun violence plague America. What can or should the Legislature do, if anything, to address this problem in Illinois?

Illinois should enact stricter laws against gang membership, gang violence, and gang-related activities; and create and fund a task force on gang activities/violence in the City of Chicago.

14. Do you favor or oppose term limits for any elected official in Illinois? Please explain.

I favor term limits for all elected officials.

15. Everybody says gerrymandering is bad, but the party in power in every state — Democrats in Illinois — resist doing anything about it. Or do we have that wrong? What should be done?

Gerrymandering is bad, and yes, Democrats in Illinois have failed to do anything about it - you have it right. I support the fair maps initiative. That’s what should be done. Madigan and the Democrats should not be drawing district maps in Illinois. We’ve had enough.

16. The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago is investigating possible official corruption by state and local officials. This prompted the Legislature to pass an ethics reform measure to amend the Lobbyist Registration Act (SB 1639). It was signed into law in December. What’s your take on this and what more should be done?

It’s a good step in the right direction, albeit insufficient. More should be done. Ethics reform is a must for Illinois.

17. When people use the internet and wireless devices, companies collect data about us. Oftentimes, the information is sold to other companies, which can use it to track our movements or invade our privacy in other ways. When companies share this data, we also face a greater risk of identity theft. What should the Legislature do, if anything?

The legislature should hold such companies accountable and require full disclosure to the consumers. Any sale of private information should also be consented to by the consumers, and the consumers should be entitled to part of the sales proceeds. Pay us if you’re going to sell and profit from the sale of our private information.

18. The number of Illinois public high school graduates who enroll in out-of-state universities continues to climb. What can Illinois do to make its state universities more attractive to Illinois high school students?

Illinois should make its state universities more competitive as to affordability and programs offered.

19. What is your top legislative priority with respect to the environment?

I’m open to conversations about the environment and our impact on it.

20. What historical figure from Illinois, other than Abraham Lincoln (because everybody’s big on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please explain.

In that context, none other than Abraham Lincoln.

21. What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?

The Practice. Because I appeared in one or two of its episodes. :)