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November 8, 2016 — Illinois General Election
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Illinois State House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 66

Photo of Allen Skillicorn

Allen Skillicorn

Republican
Director of Marketing for a local electronics manufacturer.
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Pension reform, the retirements of our state workers and the futures of our taxpayers are in jeopardy. Currently, one-quarter of every dollar the state takes in goes to fund pensions, yet our unfunded liability continues to grow.
  • I will oppose new taxes until we make significant reforms to the way state government works, and we ensure that the tax dollars our families are paying actually go to provide the services we value.
  • Springfield needs new, independent leadership that is focused on serving our interests, not protecting their own power. The current leaders were put in place to work for us but what we find is that they work for themselves.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Director of Marketing for a local electronics manufacturer.
Director of Marketing for a local electronics manufacturer., PE Inc. (1998–current)
Trustee for the Village of East Dundee (elected in 2011, re-elected in, Village of East Dundee — Elected position (2011–current)
Vice-Chairman of the Kane County Republican Party, Kane County Republican Party — Appointed position (2014–current)

Education

Elgin Community College Associates from Elgin Community College, Graduate of Dundee Crown High School (current)

Community Activities

Animal Resuce Volunteer, Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus (2007–current)
Co-Owner - Nationally Recognized Animal Rescue Promotion Organization, Rescue Pet Motorsports (2012–current)

Who supports this candidate?

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 Allen Skillicorn:

Yes, I support term limits. If 8 years is enough for President Barack Obama, why not something similar here in Illinois?

Career politicians stay in office for 20 years, 30 years, and they stop listening to us. They use the power of incumbency to ignore the will of the people and instead protect their own interests. Rather than serving our community, they are serving themselves.

Polls have shown that vast majorities of citizens on both sides of the political aisle back term limits for their elected officials. Term limits could help address the problems created by the handful of powerful lawmakers who have created the current mess.

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

The Democratic legislative leaders command veto-proof majorities in both chambers, but Speaker Madigan, would have you believe being the gentleman that he is, is so focused on working “respectfully and cooperatively” with the governor, that democrats can’t entertain the idea of passing a budget without Bruce’s approval. Right?

Not exactly. Over the last fifty years Speaker Mike Madigan, a shrewd and industrious man, has amassed such wealth and power that he has little use for the governor. Passing a budget with required cuts would not please the Speaker. That’s why it’s not happening.

Illinois needs a two-party system now more than ever. Illinois needs a Fair Remap Amendment to make suburban and downstate races more competitive and force representatives to serve their constituents, not shop for more desirable constituents.

 

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 Allen Skillicorn:

Illinois Public universities cost too much. Compare the tuition of U of I to their conference peers in surrounding states. US News and World Reports shows our tuitions are 30%-60% more expensive than schools in these neighboring states.

Studies show that students who leave for out-of-state schools, are more likely to leave for good. Illinois can't afford to lose college graduates and tomorrows high income earners.

I will disagree with the NY Times, though. According to the State Higher Education Executive Officer’s 2014 Report, Illinois spends $12,293. The national average is only $6,552.

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

We need to reform the state’s school funding formula away from property taxes, but remain revenue neutral, with no hidden taxes. The plans being discussed in Springfield like Senator Manar’s SB231 take away millions of state aid from the school districts in Algonquin, Huntley, and Crystal Lake. SB231 robs 51% of state funding from Crystal Lake District 47. This is unacceptable.

 

School District

 FY 15 Disbursements

 Change with SB 231 Compared to Disbursements

 % Change

300

 $      32,265,103.31

 $       (2,383,447.01)

-7.4%

155

 $      10,624,580.88

 $       (2,086,089.01)

-19.6%

158

 $      20,621,386.42

 $       (3,326,799.10)

-16.1%

47

 $        9,207,467.94

 $       (4,726,667.91)

-51.30%

 

 

Part of the reason I am running for office is because I want every child in Illinois to have access to a quality education, regardless of their parents’ income and zip code. When I look around this state, it is very clear that just isn’t happening. 

 

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 Allen Skillicorn:

Crafting our state budget should be a deliberative process where legislators have an opportunity to review spending, line-by-line, using a zero-based budgeting approach. Instead Speaker Michael Madigan traditionally crams these budget bills through the house before anyone can read them.

As one of the single largest expenditures, I would investigate overhauling Medicaid. Not long ago a private company found 40% of Medicaid recipients ineligible. These are people living out-of-state or no longer eligible for other reasons. A year ago the Sun-Times reported $12 million in benefits going to dead people. I’m not making this stuff up. Conservative estimates, show we could save $1.5 to $1.9 billion a year here alone.

Lastly, I oppose the graduated income tax and restoring the 5% income tax hike. Speaker Michael Madigan’s proven for decades that sending more money to Springfield doesn’t solve anything. However, I do support the selling the obscenely expensive cooper-plated doors to the capitol dome for scrap metal.

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 Allen Skillicorn:

For the past four years I have been a state advocate for the National Motorists Association. One of our tasks is to insure Motor Fuel Taxes fund infrastructure and are not reclaimed for general revenue. The Lock Box Amendment is a good first step to making sure our roads and infrastructure are fully funded. The intention of the MTF is that roads and infrastructure are self-funded through fuel sales. If these funds are sweep, people who pay at the pump will be double taxed.

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 Allen Skillicorn:

As a candidate outside of any government pension system, who will refuse a pension, I offer a unique understanding of this issue.

The pension issue is an issue of fairness. Is it fair for middle class working families making an average of $57,000 per year to finance lifetime benefits for government workers?

Is it fair to perpetuate an unfunded state pension system where pensioners could be left with pennies on the dollar if we don’t act sooner than later? State workers deserve the security and control of owning their own retirement accounts and shouldn’t have to pay into a system controlled by politicians focused only on their next reelection campaign.

We need to pay workers what they’ve earned, including promised pensions, and let them control their futures. Unless major changes to the public pensions in Illinois occur in the near future, government employee pensions could go the way of those in Detroit. And families across the state will continue to see their tax burdens skyrocket.

I support reforms that transition government employees away from defined benefits and toward 401(k)-style plans, such as those in the private sector. This is critical to improving the finances of the state and to move control of retirement funds away from the politicians and toward retirees.

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

Yes, reassessing how the state handles non-violent offenders may not be a winning issue in a conservative suburban district, but it's good policy. We do not have to reinvent the wheel, but just observe and learn from other states who are ahead of the curve on this issue.

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 Allen Skillicorn:

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution includes the phrase, “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Asset forfeiture without a conviction, or other ‘policing for profit’ is not acceptable, does not include the “due process of law” protection and does not promote a harmonious relationship between the people and their police.

The punishment shall fit the crime, but in some cases the asset forfeiture is a greater financial penalty than the fine itself.

Furthermore on this topic, I oppose the problematic Red Light Surveillance Cameras in Chicago and the suburbs. They lack sufficient constitutional protection and encourage municipalities to be more focused on revenue than safety.

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

Currently Illinois does not have a 'Bathroom Law'. Interests on both the right and left want to either restrict or expand rights and privileges. I am not interested in either. I am content with no 'Bathroom Police' and would rather focus on Illinois' fiscal issues and budget.

 

I want to reiterate my goals of pension reform, property tax relief, and overcoming gridlock. Every minute we spend discussing other issues, the deeper we are in debt.

 

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 Allen Skillicorn:

I believe the cornerstone of medical care starts with the Hippocratic Oath. One’s own self-interest must be the final arbitrator, but the physician’s role should be limited to strictly advice and care.

What measures do you support to reduce levels of gun violence?
Answer from Allen Skillicorn:

Violence is a symptom of the lack of opportunity, not the demonizing of inanimate objects. The legislature needs to address this at two levels. First, young people in violent neighborhoods (mostly young men) do not have enough economic opportunities to make better choices. These violence plagued neighborhoods need better schools, more options, adult education, and free-enterprise zones. Let local entrepreneurs start small businesses, food trucks, and other enterprises without the same zoning, licensing, and restrictions that might be more appropriate in the upscale neighborhoods.

Second give prosecutors and judges the tools and freedom to enforce state and federal laws (like the law already on the books against straw purchases). Mandatory minimums have not worked as envisioned. Judges, not politicians should be handling sentencing. We also need to explore how we sentence non-violent drug offenses.

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 Allen Skillicorn:

First, minimum wages are effectively price controls, and many times have unintended consequences. Please see President Jimmy Carter's term for concrete examples.

Specifically for Illinois, I am on the record for supporting The Turnaround Agenda, which includes an increase in the minimum wage, cost cutting measures, and other business related reforms.

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 Allen Skillicorn:

I will oppose new taxes until we make significant reforms to the way state government works, and we ensure that the tax dollars our families are paying actually go to provide the services we value.

However, I do support the selling the obscenely expensive cooper-plated doors to the capitol dome for scrap metal.

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 Allen Skillicorn:

I love the idea of renewable energy, but I’m concerned about amount corporate welfare required to get these programs off the ground. It’s unfair for working class people to be subsidizing solar panels for the rich or profits to corporate executives.

I prefer investing in clean nuclear electricity, which benefits all Illinoisans.  

Videos (1)

— October 17, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times

Allen Skillicorn tells why he should be the state representative from the 66th district.

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