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November 8, 2016 — Illinois General Election
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Illinois State House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 10

Photo of Mark Spognardi

Mark Spognardi

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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Solve fiscal crisis, including pension underfunding and other debt related issues.
  • Restore superior business climate and credit rating to ILLINOIS
  • Create positive economic climate for growth & jobs, reduce size/layers/scope of government, promote and fund schools and school choice



Attorney. FOUNDING partner, Pautsch SPOGNARDI & baiocchi legal group llp (2014–current)
27th ward Republican Committeeman, 27th Ward, City of Chicago — Elected position (2016–current)
27th Ward Committeeman, Republican, 27th ward, City of Chicago, Republican Party — Elected position (2016–current)


U of Iowa; DePaul (current)

Community Activities

Various bar associations, cba, , Isba, justinians, chicago GOP, ppbic,, Various bar associations, cba, Isba, justinians, chicago GOP, ppbic, (1994–current)
Parishioner; member & contributing author . , Holy Name Cathedral; Illinois Manufacturing Assoc. (2006–current)

Questions & Answers

Questions from Chicago Sun-Times (15)

Do you support term limits for legislators? Do you support term limits for legislative leaders? Please explain.
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

Yes.  I have taken the pledge.   See my website.

Who do you think bears responsibility for the budget stalemate? Do you have your own ideas on how to resolve it?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

Obviously the majority of the blame goes to the majority party, which has the power to create gridlock.  If Iliinois government was a business there would be shareholder lawsuits for breach of fiduciary responsibilities. However, finger pointing will not get us where we need to go, which will involve  compromise on both sides of the ailse to resolve the state's financial crisis and get the state back on track.   

A June 3 New York Times op-ed was headlined “Higher Education in Illinois is Dying” because of significant funding cuts. Do you agree or not with Gov. Bruce Rauner that additional large cuts could be necessary?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

I do not believe that the average Illinois resident understands what a financial mess the state has on its hands.  All sides are to blame. Yes, cuts and head chopping will be necessary.  But I believe there are more fundamental, structural problems wih higher education in Illinois and across the nation, starting with government guarantees student loans, and eliminating the students ability to discharge student debt through bankruptcy. 

How should the state’s school funding formula be changed to give all children a better chance at a quality education?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

It is not a matter of tweaking the funding formula.   It is a matter of school choice. Every parent should be given school choice.  The parents are the best ones to decide where their children go to school.

Without a budget, Illinois is spending much more than it takes in, leading to an ever-growing stack of bills, underfunded services and a growing deficit. What new revenue sources do you support to help fix this problem?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

We need a budget, period.  We do not need new taxes -- that is a cop out.  To the extent short term revenue increases are needed to get the state back on track, they must be tied to goals that must be met, and must have sunset provisions so that they expire.

A constitutional amendment is on the ballot that would require money raised for transportation not be spent elsewhere. Do you support this concept? Also, transportation planners say more money is needed for roads and bridges, Metra, CTA rail services and the like. Do you agree and, if so, where would you get the funding?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

Question 1:  yes


Question 2:  I agree in part that more money is needed for highways, roads, and bridges.  Why do we support bike lanes on a busy artery street next to an underground subway?, eg Milwaukee Ave.  The planners make no sense.  Also, the planners can't run things or manage a budget.  This just cannabilizes mass transit.  The bicycle crowd needs pathways free of cars, not major arteries, to avoid, not compete with trucks. Better routes away from traffic. They will have to pay their fair share also. 

In the last session, the governor and Legislature turned their attention away from pension reform. What initiatives do you support to reduce the costs of pensions?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

1) new hires on defined contribution plans.

2) current employees on defined contribution plans where allowed by constitutional due process.

3) retirement income tax on state pensions for 4 year period with sunset provision, with exemption for smaller pension distribution levels.

4) special tax assessment on Illinois govt pensions taken by out of state residents.




Do you support measures to reduce Illinois’ prison population and divert more money into community-based services?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

sure, you would be nuts not to support that. 

There are calls to reform the state’s civil asset forfeiture system, which allows police and prosecutors to seize and take – permanently – property from someone who has not been convicted of a crime? What is your view?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

The state is broke and are seizing anything they can get their hands on. It is wrong, period. I decry and condem this unlawful seizure practice without due process of law.  

Do you support allowing transgender persons born in Illinois to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without undergoing surgery first?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:


What is your view on so-called “death with dignity” — physician-assisted suicide — which has become a contentious issue in other states? California’s End of Life Option Act took effect on June 9.
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

all life is sacred.  

Death and taxes should be avoided  

The terminally ill should be accorded dignity in the death process  

What measures do you support to reduce levels of gun violence?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

I support the 2nd Amendment, and concealed carry. All studies show lawfully carried handguns reduce gun violence and crime. 

A number of states and local jurisdictions (including Chicago) have recently increased the minimum wage. Do you support or oppose a statewide increase in the minimum wage? If so, what should the new minimum be, and by when? Should local jurisdictions be prohibited from passing their own minimum wage laws?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

I believe in the market. I do not support increasing the minimum wage. I believe in free markets, freedom of contract, and freedom of association.  I believe employees have a right to form a union if they feel they need better wages and benefits. But I do not think government understands the markets or businesses.  The government's well intentioned effort to improve workers lives, inevitably results in fewer jobs.  This ultimately affects low wage and low skilled workers, and young workers, particularly in the minority communities.

In the past couple of legislative sessions, there has been a proposal to add a 1 cent tax on all sugar-sweetened beverages sold in Illinois. Do you support or oppose such a measure, and why?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

I am against this proposal. 


Illinois needs to start living within its means and quit spending money that it does not have. 

In recent years, there has been a growing push to increase the development and use of renewable energy sources. Do you support or oppose these preferences?
Answer from Mark Spognardi:

It depends what you mean by renewable. 


I do do not favor the use of food commodities for energy. Other renewables, such as algae bio fuel, recycled cooking oil, or wind, water, & solar, I support,

Videos (1)

— September 30, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times

Mark Spognardi tells why he should be the state representative from the 10th district.

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