presents
Voter’s Edge Illinois
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
MapLight
November 8, 2016 — Illinois General Election
We depend on your support.
Invest in unbiased information

Text VOTE to 52000 to donate $10.

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.

Illinois State House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 62

Photo of Sam Yingling

Sam Yingling

Democratic
Elected Official & Businessperson
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Freeze and reduce property taxes
  • Consolidate the over 7000 units of government in the state to reduce property taxes
  • Stabilize the state's budget

Experience

Experience

Profession:Elected Official & Businessperson
Illinois State Representative, State of Illinois (2013–current)
Illinois State Representative, Illinois House of Representatives — Elected position (2013–current)

Education

DePaul University of Chicago Bachelor of Arts Degrees , Public Policy & Administration, Urban Planning, Political Science (2003)

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 Sam Yingling:

I have always supported term limits.  When I was elected township supervisor, one of the first votes I took was a resolution for term limits.  I introduced the term limit amendment, HJRC0053, in the Illinois General Assembly. In addition to putting term limits in place for the state government, HJRC0053 would also allow all local units of government to adopt term limits. I also support term limits for legislative leaders. 

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

The blame-game in Springfield has gone on for too long.  I am extremely disappointed with the inability of legislative leadership and the Governor in addressing our abusive tax system.  I’m primarily disappointed because there seems to be a lot of agreement in principle but a complete failure of action.  I have voted for countless property tax freeze bills, government consolidation bills, and the redistricting reform amendment. Sometimes, it feels that it’s only me and some of my colleagues (on both sides of the aisle) who are willing to take action, regardless of the political consequences.  Since he was inaugurated, the Governor and his staff have had no communication with me.  Instead, Governor Rauner funds mail and television ads into my district misrepresenting my record.  I would prefer to have a professional dialogue and compromise as opposed to endless politicking.  

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 Sam Yingling:

I oppose the governor’s plan to cut state support for Illinois colleges and universities by 30 percent. Several times I voted for budget plans that not only rejected the governor’s massive cuts but also increased funding for MAP grants. These cuts have already led to job loss and economic downturns on our college and university campuses.  Additionally, the state is now seeing a decrease in enrollment as a result of the instability created within our higher education system.

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

The way in which the state funds our public schools must be changed to make sure that all students receive the best education possible. However, these changes should not result in a loss of funding for the schools of the children I represent. I am committed to work together to find a way to make education funding fair, and I believe the solution will require work and thoroughness to make sure that the schools I represent do not suffer a loss of essential state support. 

Illinois must move away from its caustic and abusive property tax system that is forcing people out of their homes and out of the state.  Illinois has more units of government than any other state in the nation, which has led to bloated government and an intolerable property tax burden.  Additionally, Illinois has suffered from its inability to adapt from a manufacturing economy tax code to a service base economy tax code.  As a result the Illinois tax code will be unable to capture natural economic growth and has an overreliance on the archaic and abusive property tax system.  My primary focus in addressing funding issues is making difficult decisions to consolidate the countless layers of government in the state and reducing the property tax burden

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 Sam Yingling:

I do not support a tax on retirement income and I strongly oppose our current property tax system. The notion of “tax hikes” is a distraction and would be ineffective unless the state modifies its tax code by moving away from the abusive property tax system and begin the consolidation of its countless layers of government.  I have voted against every tax increase and I have introduced and passed legislation that would allow counties to begin the consolidation process in their respective counties as well as the Township Modernization and Consolidation Act.  As a former township supervisor, I saw firsthand the redundancy of all of these units of government and called for the elimination of my own elected position, reduced spending, cut the township tax levies by 22%, and generated record surpluses.  In the same way, the state must maximize efficiencies, consolidate, and move away from the notion that “tax hikes” are the only solution.  

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 Sam Yingling:

I support the constitutional amendment that prevents funds for transportation to be spent elsewhere. I supported HJRCA 26 to increase tax rates on millionaires so that they pay their fair share. 

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 Sam Yingling:

The pension liability is a systemic issue going back decades by politicians of both parties kicking the can down the road. I voted for two pension reform proposals, not because they were perfect but because action needed to be taken.  I took a lot of flak for those votes and it was in direct defiance of people in my own party and organized labor.  Practically speaking our system requires compromise and very often some solution is better than the perfect solution.  In light of the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling that any modifications to existing pensions is unconstitutional, I support a Tier 3 pension system for all new employees that would include a 401k model.  Additionally, I support an option for current members of the pension system to cash-out of the system and roll it into a personal investment account, such as a 401k or a 403b.

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

A very big concern among the residents I speak with every day is the safety and security of our families and our communities. I do not support plans that would allow dangerous criminals to be released from prison early and back 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 Sam Yingling:

This is not a topic that the residents I speak with in my district have brought up. They are more concerned with keeping our neighborhoods safe and free from crime. They want to see more funding in the state budget devoted to public safety measures, such as providing funding to reduce the state’s rape kit backlogs so rapists can be held accountable for their crimes and justice can be served.

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

As the first openly gay legislator elected from outside of Chicago, I am committed to equal rights and protections for everyone in the LGBT community.  Since 1955, Illinois has recognized that people should be allowed to correct the gender marker on their birth certificates. The 60 year old requirement for surgery to correct a gender marker on a birth certificate needs to be updated to instead require clinically appropriate treatment.  The federal government does not require surgery to correct the gender marker for passports, consular reports of birth abroad, green cards, naturalization certificates, and social security records and instead requires proof of clinically appropriate treatment.  Twelve states (California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) and the District of Columbia no longer require surgery to correct the gender marker on a birth certificate.

 

 

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 Sam Yingling:

This is an issue that needs further public discourse, including who would have the final authority to make decisions in such situations. This is not a simple issue, and not one that is actively being discussed in Illinois. California’s law is new and requires more empirical data before Illinois can consider such as an issue. 

What measures do you support to reduce levels of gun violence?
Answer from Sam Yingling:

I am open to a dialogue about how to reduce gun violence.  There are far too many lives lost as a result of criminals being able to access firearms.  Responsible firearm owners should not be punished for the violence being spread by illegal gun ownership.  Many of the problems related to gun violence are rooted in economics.  We need to work toward ensuring that all residents of the state are economically mobile, which will deter the need to resort to crime. We must work harder to increase families’ sense of security in our neighborhoods and in our schools. I support common-sense measures to prevent tragedies. In the wake of shootings across the country carried out by people with mental illnesses, I will work to strengthen mental health treatment and prevent the mentally ill from gaining access to guns.  I also support requiring background checks 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 Sam Yingling:

The residents of the 62nd district overwhelmingly supported a statewide increase in the minimum wage to $10/hour in a non-binding referendum vote in 2014.  I too support increasing the statewide minimum wage to $10/hours. We need to do more to help working families get on the path to a living wage. The vast majority of minimum wage workers are adults that work full-time, often to support a family. One cannot support a family on a minimum wage of $8.25 an hour, so we need to do more to help put struggling families on a path to a living wage. The timing of the increase should be negotiated with business leaders and these are discussions that should continue with the goal of finally increasing the minimum wage in Illinois. Local jurisdictions should have the ability to provide for greater minimum wage levels based upon the needs of their jurisdictions. 

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 Sam Yingling:

I do not support increasing taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and I believe that this type of approach to tax policy is what has been hindering the state.  The inability of the state to have a comprehensive tax policy built around its current economy has led to unneeded and ongoing taxation such as this. 

 

While I understand the intentions behind such a proposal, a new tax on soft drinks is not something I support. 

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 Sam Yingling:

I have received a 100% rating from the Illinois Environmental Council and the endorsement of the Sierra Club.  I serve not only as a member of the Green Caucus in the General Assembly but also on the Renewable Energy Committee.  Not only does this sector help reverse the effects of climate change it also provides for high-paying jobs and sustainable economic growth in Illinois.  Illinois has an abundance of wind and solar resources that can be harnessed for the betterment of the people of the state as well as serve as an economic engine of the Midwest.

Who else is running?

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.

PUBLISHING:PRODUCTION SERVER:PRODUCTION