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November 8, 2016 — Illinois General Election
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Illinois State House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 44

Photo of Fred Crespo

Fred Crespo

Democratic
Elected Official
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Work towards a balanced budget.
  • Secure adequate funding for education.
  • Secure funding for social service providors that serve the most vulnerable residents of our state.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Elected Official
Hoffman Estates Trustee, Hoffman Estates — Elected position (2005–2006)
Hoffman Estates Plan Commissioner, Hoffman Estates — Appointed position (2003–2005)
Chairman Hoffman Estates Cultural Awareness Commission, Hoffman Estates — Appointed position (2002–2005)
Hoffman Estates Public Utility Commission, Hoffman Estates — Appointed position (2002–2005)
Executive Supervisor, Peoples Energy (1979–2004)

Education

Loyola University of Chicago Bachelor of Science (B.S), Psychology (1980)

Community Activities

Board Member, Alexian Center for Mental Health (2005–current)
Board Member, Children's Advocacy Center (2007–current)
Leadership Board, Women In Need Growing Stronger (WINGS) Domestic Violence/Shelter Organization (2008–current)
Head Coach for Track & Field , St. Hubert School (1997–2004)
Head Coach for Cross Country, St. Hubert School (1997–2004)

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 Fred Crespo:

I support term limits for legislators as well as constitutional officers. We should look at the experience of other states and have a discussion on term limits based on sound public policy, not one driven by political agendas. There are pros and cons to term limits. For example, term limits would remove legislators that don’t represent their districts’ best interest yet keep getting elected. On the other hand, losing institutional knowledge would allow insiders and lobbyist to exercise more influence in the Capitol. Also, term limits would produce lame duck legislators that won’t be held accountable for their votes, hence there should be a ban a legislators working for interest group/organizations after their terms expire.

 

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

Pointing figures does not help solve the problem. The current impasse has detrimentally impacted our most vulnerable citizens, and the longer we wait the more harm it will cause. The budget process requires the governor and the General Assembly to work together in presenting and passing a balanced budget.  As chairman of the Appropriations Committee for General Services, I am committed to continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and with the administration, to find a reasonable solution to the budget stalemate.

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 Fred Crespo:

I don’t agree with the drastic cuts proposed by the governor, and I am most definitely opposed to cuts to the MAP grants that help many low-income and middle-class families send their children to college.  We have heard from state colleges and universities that not only are they losing students, but also experienced professors. The loss of students and professors coupled with credit rating downgrades has already caused significant harm to our state colleges and universities. Additionally failing to adequately fund higher education can result in higher tuition for the students.

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

As chairman of the House Education Committee on Curriculum and Policy, and a member of the governor’s Education Funding Commission, I have a strong interest in this issue. I do not support education-funding models that favor some school districts at the expense of others. There is a model being considered, the Evidence Base Model, which I think should be explored. I will continue working with my colleagues and the administration if finding a fair and equitable funding solution that will benefit all children in our state.

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 Fred Crespo:

There are several options to increase revenue without asking the middle class to pay higher taxes. I have introduced legislation that cuts over a million dollars from the lieutenant governor’s office. Other revenue-generating options include consolidating services provided by state agencies, closing corporate tax loopholes and increasing tax rates on millionaires. I have also strongly recommended using the Auditor General’s reports and findings during the appropriation process to identify waste and ways to improve processes.

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 Fred Crespo:

I do support the constitutional amendment.

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 Fred Crespo:

For sure it will require all hands on deck to come up with a solution. Any solution needs to ensure that it’s fair to taxpayers and employees who have met their obligations and made their required payments into the pension system. We need all stakeholders at the table. It’s important to keep in mind that this dire situation was created over several decades, through underfunding the pension systems and made worse by recessions that had a significant impact on the pensions’ investment returns. We have to work with the understanding that any solution will take years to correct the problem.

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

I do not support initiatives that would release criminals into our neighborhoods.

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 Fred Crespo:

Residents of my district are more concerned about safe neighborhoods and safety in general than changing the state’s civil asset forfeiture system.

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

I have supported legislation that allows civil unions and same-sex marriage in our state.  Those issues were thoroughly debated and discussed in the General Assembly. The issue being questioned here deserves the same thorough debate and discussion.    

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 Fred Crespo:

This issue has seldom if ever brought up in my district. The residents in my district are more concerned with issues that impact the quality of life of seniors, women’s health and children’s wellbeing which are currently being neglected by this administration.

What measures do you support to reduce levels of gun violence?
Answer from Fred Crespo:

I support common-sense gun laws to protect the residents of our state. That includes requiring gun dealers to be licensed, placing a ban on assault weapons, and requiring a background check on anyone purchasing a firearm.

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 Fred Crespo:

I’ve supported increasing the minimum wage, and will continue to do so. The current minimum wage does not meet the standards of a living wage. The minimum wage has lost close to one-third of its value since the 1960s.  As we discuss raising the minimum wage we need to reconcile the needs of employees and employers to ensure that any increase protects both.

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 Fred Crespo:

I do not support 1-cent tax on soft drinks.

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 Fred Crespo:

As a member of the Public Utilities Commission, I’m always interested in exploring new renewable energy sources. I strongly support investing in clean energy alternatives as a way to protect our environment for this and future generations, and as a way to create new jobs.

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