With Illinois unemployment over 10%, schools in crisis, thousands of foreclosures and a crumbling infrastructure, Illinois is facing serious issues. These are my priorities when I get to Springfield.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, & the Economy
Illinois is a stellar state with a dedicated workforce and great resources. We need to get our people back to work. Lots of people have come forward with ideas to attract business here with tax incentives. I agree with all of those ideas but it's simply not enough.
We need to promote green jobs in Illinois. The economic engine of the past was oil. The new economic engine is green technologies. It’s a blossoming industry and Illinois can become the center of the “green” movement. Throughout our state we can promote and attract businesses with incentives to come to Illinois, particularly businesses which produce energy saving technologies. Experts estimate that as many as 100,000 jobs and billions in revenue can be realized with “green” jobs. These jobs would not be limited to manufacturing. Construction managers, energy auditors, and technicians would be just a few of the green industry jobs created. We need to set green energy goals with timelines and enforce them with stiff penalties to those who do not comply. By offering incentives for private and commercial green renovation to new and existing buildings, we could realize jobs and revenues while promoting energy conservation and a cleaner and healthier environment for the people of Illinois.
Our children, our most valued resource, have been used as pawns in the political battles going on in Springfield. We need to change the game and the rules. School funding needs to be taken off the backs of property owners. It is the state's responsibility to do its duty for our children. The current funding process is unfair to both taxpayers and children.
Ethics and Restoring Respect for Illinois
We need to restore respect for Illinois and our elected officials. 80% of people do not approve of the job legislators are doing, yet 90% of incumbents are re-elected. Let's elect representatives whose actions will restore confidence and respect for our state and our elected officials. I support legislation that would call for mandatory prosecution and sentencing for politicians who betray the trust of the people of Illinois. We need to break this cycle of abuse and betrayal.
We have tried the "back room" political deals and they haven't worked for the people of Illinois. I support total transparency of everything that goes on in Springfield, bids, contracts, EVERYTHING. We need it upfront and on-line with input from our citizens. We've tried it their way for far too long and it got us into this mess. Perhaps our citizenry will have some better ideas.
We have also tried it with no term limits and that has not worked for Illinoisans either. While I understand there can be a downside to term limits, we need to try it. I believe a well thought out plan, with staggered terms should be implemented.