SubCatEconomy

Themes in Economy Questions

Not only was Economy the most asked about Category, but economic questions touched multiple issues within a single question.  Many respondents linked the state budget to issues within the Economy category (such as tax reform and pensions,) as well as to issues in other categories (such as social welfare and education). Questions ranged from very general How are you going to fix it?  To more specific questions framed with a clear concern for pension solvency or addressing implementation of a Progressive Tax.

Given that all of the leading candidates have position statements on the state economy that reflect support for a progressive tax and a balanced budget, the following questions could be fine tuned to illicit a more detailed response to provide distinctions between the candidates.

Illinois is in a fiscal hole, with a poor credit rating. What exactly are you going to do to generate more revenue so the state can pay off debts and pension obligations without continuing to take on more loans at worse rates?
Illinois has so many pressing needs, e.g., infrastructure, education, Great Lakes recovery, healthcare, gun violence, economic development.  How will the candidate prioritize these needs at a time when there will need to be budget cuts?
Given that no party has a monopoly on good ideas, what ideas offered by Republicans do you believe should be incorporated into your agenda?
How do you plan on revising (or perhaps phasing out) the pension system without unfairly penalizing current pensioners who have paid into the system their entire careers?
What can be done to expand jobs and business opportunities in areas of the state where growth is flat?

The following question assumes the GOP Tax Reform makes it through the Senate and reconciliation.  There were a few such questions about state remedies for specific deduction repeals in the tax proposal such as student loan and SALT deductions.

How do you intend to protect Illinois residents and institutions from adverse proposed tax changes such as having college "free tuition" stipends taxed, inability to deduct major medical expenses and major mortgage interest from federal taxation, and inability to deduct contributions to nonprofit charities?

Economy Questions

What is the issue that you would like candidates to address

What is a question on this issue you would like answered (if you have one)?

State and local taxes not deductible from federal taxes under new tax plan

If the new federal tax plan is passed and doesn't allow state and local taxes to be deducted from federal taxes, what do you propose to do to compensate Illinois tax payers for this?

The deficit

What is the candidate’s plan for putting Illinois on the path to financial solvency?

Funding public education

Doing it without cutting Illinois worker pensions & local property taxes

Budget

Financial mess - revising the state income tax so that Illinois can have a healthy budget

Don't have a question

Fiscal issues and budget in Illinois

What are your specific actions to bring fiscal responsibility to the Illinois budgets and debts?

budgetary paralysis

How will your leadership get Illinois past the cycle of budgetary impasses and the inability of the sides to work together toward compromise?

Economy

What will you do to attract new business

Minimum wage of $15

When will the minimum wage be indexed to inflation?

Jobs and worker's rights

Will you support public employees right to organize and oppose right to work laws?

The fiscal health of our state.

Do have a plan to address the fiscal needs of our state?

Tax reform in Illinois

Progressive income tax

Will you support enactment of a progressive income tax to help fund state coffees?

progressive income tax- details

Give details of how you would get state to move towards a progressive income tax.

Fairly addressing the issue of public pensions vs raising taxes to pay them

Isn't there some way that pensions can be controlled so that future tax increases go towards the benefit of schools, infrastructure, et al

Budget-pensions

What actions would you take to solve the pension crisis facing our state? What do you believe is needed for pension reform without taking the pensions away from public employees and teachers that are dependent on their pensions for retirement?

State budget

Revenue sources

State budget

Inequality

Amount of Commitment to social programs, education, health, social security ?

What will you do to make the state income tax more fair? Do you think the rich should pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes?

fix state tax system by making them more progressive

how can we lower property taxes while stabilizing state finances?

IL budget woes, IL's over-reliance on property taxes within overall tax structure

What do you think is the state's responsibility to teachers and similar others in paying our pensions?

Progressive income tax

How will you go about implementing this dramatic change?

I am a retired State of IL. employee. Therefore, the pension crisis is most important to me.

What's your solution? I am very tired of being portrayed as the villain in this scenario. I only worked for a living and did not invent or take advantage of the pension system.

budget crisis

what remedies will you utilize in paying our (delinquent & future) bills? what sacrifices do you think are necessary?

Progressive income tax

Would you push for an amendment to the state constitution to change from a flat tax to a progressive tax, and if so, how would you go about it?

Balancing the state budget. IL paying its bills.

What are the details of your plan to balance the IL budget without attacking social services?

Illinois’ financial problems, particularly underfunded public pensions

In three sentences or less, summarize your understanding of Illinois’ financial situation. Then explain how you would address the pension problem.

State Deficit

How will you address the backlog of state bills and a roadmap to fiscal health.

State budget and fiscal responsibility.

What is your plan to improve the State of Illinois' budget and fiscal wellness?

The state economy and budget problems

How will candidates work to control out-of-control pensions and bonuses such as those for senior state university administrators?

state budget and taxes

What is your plan to develop the tax base to pay for the pensions and provide the social services and healthcare to people of Illinois

Need for progressive income tax

How do you plan to raise needed revenue?

Pension

How will we pay for them

State of Illinois fiscal situation (debt, deficit, etc.)

What would you do to improve the state of Illinois' fiscal situation (debt, deficit, etc.)?

State Finances

What are your ideas about how to make Illinois financially healthy again

Our budget and debt crisis

What is being done to cut spending and make our state less debt ridden?

Pension funding

What is your solution for the pension mess?

How do you plan on creating jobs for all Chicagoans?

What is your stance on unions?

How to run our state effectively, efficiently and with good government principles.

What experience do they bring to address the gridlock issues affecting our state, such as the budget? How do they plan to do it?

Chicago/Illinois's finances

Economic inequality, including racial and gender inequality

Does this system work. My answer: "No"

Pensions

How do you plan on revising (or perhaps phasing out) the pension system without unfairly penalizing current pensioners who have paid into the system their entire careers?

The fiscal situation in IL

How will you make sure that IL improves its financial standing?

Graduated income tax

How would you make the case for and advocate for a graduated income tax in Illinois?

State budget

How will the pension crisis be approached?

Increasing workers wages and income inequality

What is your plan to make it easier for workers to organize?

Illinois’ economy

Illinois is in a fiscal hole, with a poor credit rating. What exactly are you going to do to generate more revenue so the state can pay off debts and pension obligations without continuing to take on more loans at worse rates?

Economic and social equality

Rent caps/control. Jobs and crime

The middle class is shrinking in areas like Hyde Park because of the high rents initiated by realty companies like MAC. The yearly increases far exceed the salary increases of the average employee. Eventually, not including university affiliated, the only demographic left in HP, will be the wealthy and the economically disadvantage who seems to have more rent advantages than the middle class.

Budget for healthcare, including mental health, transgender protection, women’s reproduction rights, and education

What is your stance on legalizing marijuana?

Debt

What will you do to pay down the debt

Housing

What would you do to promote low income housing in Chicago?

State revenues

If not a progressive income tax, then what will you do to boost revenues?

Budget issues and pensions

How to address the under funding of pensions and balance our state budget

Pension

Security

State's debt

What are your solutions for getting the state into a better fiscal position?

Raising revenues

How will you work to develop a progressive income tax in Illinois? What about a transaction tax on La Salle street?

The new Tax reform bill

Do you support it and why? What Do you expect the outcome for most Illinois families if this goes through?

Job creation in counties with high unemployment

Police accountability

We need a progressive income tax in Illinois.

The need for a graduated income tax.

What steps would you take to get this done?

economic policy

what can be done to expand jobs and business opportunities in areas of the state where growth is flat?

Finding new revenue sources for the state and attracting new businesses without decreasing corporate tax revenues.

Do you think that legalizing marijuana could provide a revenue source for the state?

Gun violence and crime.

What is your plan to curb gun violence and crime in Chicago? Does it include economic development and job growth in less fortunate areas?

State income tax

What is the position of each candidate on the state income tax? Should it be raised?

Illinois should lead in green energy job creation. More jobs equals more working citizens which then means more tax payers and more disposable income.

How can Illinois attract more people from out of state through green energy job creation?

Unions

Do you see value in unions? Explain.

Income inequality

How will you close the gap

PROPERTY TAX RELIEF AND THE DISCRIMATORY ASSESSMENT POLICIES

HOW WILL YOU INTERVENE FOR FAIR AND EQUITABLE PROPERTY TAX POLICIES THAT DON'T SUPPORT BIG CORPORATIONS AND BIG EXPENSIVE BUILDINGS THAT ARE RELIEVED OF THEIR ACTUAL AND APPROPRIATE TAX ASSESSMENT?

Funding for public education, including state universities

View on meeting pension obligations?

What kind of programs would you support to do away with income inequality?

What kind of programs would you support to ensure civil rights and justice for everyone?

White collar job shortage

Unions

How will you protect our unions and our retirement benefits? We don't want to go the route of Wisconsin and Kansas.

State income tax

Would you support a constitutional amendment to institute a progressive income tax?

Economic and Racial Segregation

What is your experience with privilege or oppression? How can you encourage racial and class integration and empowerment in urban and rural areas of Illinois?

Budget

We've had a lot of our past governments let us down in our budget, not putting enough cash away for our pension obligations and other obligations. This is a problem decades in the making. Whats your plan to start addressing it? How many years will it take?

Budget

Education

Do you support expanding the budget to support free meals for children; a safe environment for learning; early education for pre-schoolers; adequate supplies and other resources for teachers to actually teach; more attention on STEM.

With the budget issue resolved, fund the programs that keep us healthy - social services and education.

No question.

Budget priorities

Illinois has so many pressing needs, e.g., infrastructure, education, Great Lakes recovery, healthcare, gun violence, economic development. How will the candidate prioritize these needs at a time when there will need to be budget cuts?

Budget stability

How would you advocate for a stable budget the fully funds education and important social services for Illinois residents?

Public Education

What are your plans to fix public education and our interest rates due to not having a state budget passed?

Attitude toward unions

Taxes

If the Trump Tax Scam passes, how will we as a state resist this bogus tax scam?

Income Tax

Real estate tax

Any plans to reduce income tax increase?

Flat tax

What will you do to change to a progressive income tax?

Teacher Retirement System

How will you ensure the Teacher Retirement System will someday become solvent?

Pension funding

raise minimum wage

The staff at long care facilities need to be paid a better wage. There need to be more of them. How can you help this situation?

Jobs for youth especially in the metropolitan Chicago area

At an event I attended, a young man said that he'd done everything right ... gone to school, got an education and couldn't find work. This is ridiculous! Why can't Rahm contact his associates (current Governor, Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates) and create with their friends in private industry internship to full employment programs for these kids! I'd like to ask him or any candidate that.

Employment

Will you push businesses to provide employment training? Giving more opportunities to employees and not having them work a dead end job.

Jobs, employment

What would you do to improve Illinois' economic situation and to create jobs?

Abort trickle down economics

Income gap

How will you stop the upward redistribution of wealth

State budget

What is your plan to balance the state budget without increasing the burden on those that have been most impacted by loss of services and high taxes?

Budget

What is your plan for balancing the Illinois budget?

State budget

What will you specifically do to get funds to schools, infrastructure, community mental health services?

unions

will you protect unions' rights?

Dealing with Adverse Federal tax changes.

How do you intend to protect Illinois residents and institutions from adverse proposed tax changes such as having college "free tuition" stipends taxed, inability to deduct major medical expenses and major mortgage interest from federal taxation, and inability to deduct contributions to non-profit charities?

Home ownership and taxes

What plans do you have to reduce the taxes on homeownership in our state, and how can you help a first time homerbuyer?

Sales Tax

Tax policy

Taxes

We need to pay taxes in a fair manner. We will not have the services we need without adequate taxes. How can you suggest we make this fairer?

Tax reform

How are we going to stop the tax plan to give money to the rich?

tax fairness

Can non-billionaires wield any power against the mega-rich, who make the rules?

Helping small businesses throughout Illinois

How will the state incentivize small businesses and help keep jobs in our state?

Small businesses

What can Illinois do to make sole proprietorships and small businesses more viable, without creating an unfair tax burden (though I am not opposed to increased taxes when they are clearly needed and will go toward vital statewide projects)?

Property tax assessments

What is your view on Joe Barrios and do you think the cook county property tax assessment system needs to be changed? If so, how would you work on this?

Property tax reform. It's unfair for everyone, especially communities with low property values.

How can Illinois tackle the corrupt property tax fiasco?

Illinois Economy - a Chicago Tribune article by Eric Zorn featured the way the governor of MN turned that state's economy around by taxing the wealthy. IL is in bad straights. Would any of the candidates endorse doing what he did?

Would you tax the wealthy as the governor of MN did?

Pension

What will you do to address the pension crises?

Minimum wage

What is your position on raising the minimum wage to $15 and how will you implement it?

New job creation and training

Income inequality

How can large, wealthy corporations contribute more? How can Bank of America and others restructure loans for CPS so better funding is restored to schools?

Inequality

How have you advocated on the issue of closing the inequality gap?

income disparity

taxes are high, wages are low. how are you going to ensure all citizens can provide for themselves & families?

State Finances

What specifically will you do to improve the financial health of our state and bring back jobs?

Property tax is not linked to the ability of people to pay, so people can lose their homes, and the schools are not financed equally, thereby continuing inequality.

Will you work to fund all public schools from statewide progressive income tax and make sure every school has equitable resources statewide?

Property Tax

Protecting democracy from being controlled by the wealthy.

Give some concrete proposals that we could enact in the state to counteract the poison of excessive and dark money on our political process.

Housing for the homeless

What are you proposals for providing housing for the homeless, along with other support services that have proven to be effective in helping homeless to get back on their feet?

Rent Control

Will you lift the ban on rent control and expand affordable housing for low income residents of Illinois

Secondary Cities

What will you do to help secondary cities, i.e. Peoria, Springfield, E St Louis, Galena, Decatur, etc... improve their economy?

Parity in funding for state's attorney and public defender offices and funding for civil legal services