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November 8, 2016 — Illinois General Election
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Illinois State House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 24

Photo of Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez

Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez

Elected Official
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Passing a budget with new revenues and reasonable, humane cuts.
  • Continue the fight for passage of Senator Manar's proposal to strengthen the schools in our poorer districts while ensuring continued success of those in wealthier areas.
  • Stimulate job growth and business development by preparing a workforce that is prepared for today's economy and rapidly changing technology



Profession:Elected Official
Commissioner for Illinois Latino Family Commission, State of Illinois — Appointed position (2012–current)
Commissioner for Illinois Commision to End Hunger, State of Illinois — Appointed position (2012–current)
Commissioner - Cicero Youth Commission, Town of Cicero — Appointed position (2002–2015)
Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Lt. Governor Pat Quinn (2002–2006)
Admin. Asst, Cicero District 99 (1985–2002)


Northeastern University BA, Public Administration (2015)

Community Activities

Board Member, Children Center of Cicero/Berwyn (1992–current)
Board member, Community Economic Development Association -CEDA (2009–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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

I consider the public's vote to be the determining factor in a term limit. When the people decide that they no longer wish to be represented by a certain individual they will say so by their vote.








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

We presented a budget that took into account the state's financial situation and recognizing this, made difficult but reasonable cuts. It was by no means a perfect budget, but it was a start. The Governor dismissed it out of hand and decided to counter it by proposing severe cuts to some of our most important programs serving the poor, elderly and disabled communities, without balancing the budget, all in the name of some kind of magic "turnaround agenda". His ideas have been rejcted all across the state, yet he refuses to accept this and has stood by as thousands of people have lost access to programs such as mental healthcare, preventive care, meals-on-wheels, etc... Even former governors of his own party have said that he should give up his agenda and move forward for the sake of the people, but he refuses. I believe the responsibility for the stalement rests on him.






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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

I disagree that there should be any further cuts to our higher Ed institutions. It is unconscionable that some of our universities faced a possible closure. The Governor often complains about the "brain drain" of students to other states, yet his administration makes it harder and harder for our colleges and universities to keep offering quality educational programs. Corporations make their headquarters in Illiinois becasue of the caliber of our workforce. If we do not propoerly invest in the education of our workforce, the jobs will go elsewhere. In order for our state to compete globally, we must value our higher Ed institutions as the source for producing the minds to make this state great! 






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

The inequity in school funding has been a long time headache with no strong attempt to change the formula until now. As a member of the Education Taskforce, I have been an active part in the discussions to introduce a proposal to the general assembly. I support SB231 that provides more state assistance to districts with less financial resources to help themselves. The current system treats wealthy not the same as poorer districts, and this is clearly not fair.

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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

I am in support of new revenue options.  The one revenue source that makes most sense to me is a graduated income tax. For too long our current tax system has been backwards. The people who earn the least pay a higher proportion of their earnings while the wealthy pay the least. Changing the formula, we put more money into the pockets of our lower wage workers and middle class and they in turn spend that money, growing our economy, creating new jobs and growing the tax bases of our communities to fund education, services and infrastructure. 

I would also continue to push for legislation that eases the tax burden on individuals by closing loopholes and imposing small fees on financial institutions such as the "tax per trade" fee.

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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

Yes I co-sponsored HJRCA36 which offers transportation dollars from being used to pay other state debt. New revenue sources would be the an option to consider for further funding. 

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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

Under the Quinn administration, Illinois was chipping away at the pension liability by making payments on time. This kept the hole from getting deeper while a long-term solution was found. At the very least we should be doing this again. I would support a plan that would offer reduced pension benefits to new employees, but I am against diminishing the pensions promised to those current and former state employees when they began their service to the people of Illinois. 

Do you support measures to reduce Illinois’ prison population and divert more money into community-based services?
Answer from Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

Our current justice system incarcerates more people that could have been held accountable through community. Many people that suffer with addiction or mental illness don't have access to treatment and end up behind bars. Funding community base services are less expensive than incarceration.

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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

I agree that until one has been proven guilty, seizure of property should not be applicable. 

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

Yes, I support allowing persons to change the sex on their birth certificate without having gender reassignment surgery. Transgender individuals should have right to live a life in the pursuit of happiness.

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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

Although the Ilinois General Assembly has not taken any significant action towards "death for dignity", I am open to discussions on the subject. 












What measures do you support to reduce levels of gun violence?
Answer from Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

I support all levels of gun control from funding preventive programs like "Ceasefire" to legislative measures that tighten, restrict, and ban certain firearms. I also support the discussion of mental health as an essential part of the overall effort to reduce gun violence, and will continue advocating for it. 

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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

I support SB68 and HB3718, which would raise the minimum wage to $10.65. If Illinois had kept up with the inflation index, we should be at $10.75 minimum wage. 

Chicago is expensive to live in when compared to other areas of Illinois, so it makes sense to increase the minimum wage. Giving local jurisdictions the ability to pass their own minimum wage can offer economic benefits sooner than if they wait for the state to pass it. 

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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

I support for two main reasons. First, we do need to identify new revenue sources, and this is one that can help. Second, if this minimal increase in cost to a consumer leads to their cutting back on the product, perhaps the added health benefits will lead to cost savings down the line.








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 Elizabeth "Lisa" Hernandez:

Yes, I'm in support of the increasing development and use of renewable energy sources. Renewables such as wind and solar are clean sources of energy that have much lower environmental impact than conventional energies such as oil, coal and natural gas. By investing in renewable energy now, we can can save money down the line, help lessen our dependence on imported fuels, and leave a cleaner planet for out children and grandchildren. 






Videos (1)

Elizabeth Hernandez tells why she should remain the state representative from the 24th district.

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