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November 8, 2016 — Illinois Elección General

Illinois State House of RepresentativesCandidato para Distrito 20

Photo de Merry Marwig

Merry Marwig

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Mis 3 prioridades principales

  • My top priority is standing up for middle class families by freezing property taxes and holding the line on other taxes on the middle class.
  • The unbalanced and unfinished budget is the biggest problem our state faces. I will take a balanced approach that cuts waste and inefficiencies while protecting services for those who need them most, like seniors and children with disabilities.
  • Maintaining and improving the quality of life for our area by providing more funding for public safety, working to reduce airplane noise and pollution, and increasing the areas that qualify for airport noise abatement insulation and windows.

Preguntas y Respuestas

Preguntas de Chicago Sun-Times (15)

Do you support term limits for legislators? Do you support term limits for legislative leaders? Please explain.
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

Yes, I am for term limits on all state elected officials, including legislators, legislative leaders and constitutional officers. I am running because I am fed up with how things are going in Springfield, and it is time for new leadership in the 20th District. Voters are tired of career politicians who are a part of the dysfunctional status quo that has resulted in a gridlocked state without a real budget.

Who do you think bears responsibility for the budget stalemate? Do you have your own ideas on how to resolve it?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I believe everyone currently in Springfield bears responsibility for our current budget stalemate. I believe the Governor’s job is to introduce a balanced budget and the Legislature’s job is to pass a balanced budget, and I feel that all sides are more interested in making excuses or blaming the other side than in getting the job done. I believe the state needs to take a balanced approach to the solving the budget crisis, and that any new revenue would need to be paired with spending decreases.

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?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I strongly oppose the Governor’s drastic proposal to cut higher education funding by 30 percent. These massive funding cuts are incredibly short-sighted and extremely damaging to our state. Illinois is home to high-quality universities, some of the best in the country. Our excellent university system has created an educated work force that in turn helps attract and retain businesses in Illinois. Our government should be focused on making our higher education system even better rather than tearing it down.

Drastically slashing funding puts the not only the quality of our universities at risk but it will also lead to higher tuition and fees for Illinois students. More and more students are attending out of state schools both because of the uncertainty of higher education in Illinois and because they simply cannot afford it. When I attended the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, I worked hard and started my own business to be able to help pay my own way, but I could not have afforded to attend without the assistance of MAP grants. Funding for MAP grants and other state assistance has been incredibly unstable, making it nearly impossible for students to depend on these grants when making the decision on where to attend college.

Higher education is too important for our economy and the future of Illinois to allow it to be held hostage during budget games in Springfield. Our district, and state, deserve better.

How should the state’s school funding formula be changed to give all children a better chance at a quality education?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I support changing the state’s school funding formula to provide excellent educational opportunities for all children throughout the state, but I would not vote for any legislation that would reduce funding for schools in my district. This is not an easy issue to tackle, and I believe we will need teachers, parents, administrators and local school board members to work together to achieve this goal. I believe achieving this goal would be made easier by the passage of HJRCA 26, legislation that would provide more money to schools by taxing income over $1 million an additional 3 percent. My district voted in favor of a nonbinding version of this initiative when it was on the ballot two years ago.

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?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I am opposed to all tax increases on middle-class families and seniors. This includes a flat income tax increase, any “progressive” tax that increases taxes on the middle class, property tax increases, taxes on retirement income, sales tax increases, service taxes, or any other tax that would increase the tax burden on working families and seniors in my district.

I believe the state needs to take a balanced approach to the solving the budget crisis, and that any new revenue would need to be paired with spending decreases. I have spent months walking door-to-door in my district, and many families and seniors have told me that they are very concerned about being able to continue to afford to live in this area, and that high taxes are already causing them to have difficulty making ends meet. I only support taxing the very wealthy, millionaires and billionaires who can afford to pay more. HJRCA 26, which would have created a 3% surcharge on income over $1 million, failed to pass out of the House this year. I would support that measure as well as closing corporate tax loopholes.

There are some relatively easy cuts that can be made in order to take the first steps towards balancing the budget. The offices of the state treasurer and comptroller should be consolidated, duplicative services provided by separate agencies should be identified and consolidated, pay for part-time boards and commissions should be eliminated, unnecessary overtime should be eliminated and pay should be cut by 10 percent for state elected officials.

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?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I support the constitutional amendment that would put the funds specifically raised for transportation in a lockbox reserved for transportation spending. Transportation funding is especially important for my district as many area businesses rely on their proximity to O’Hare Airport as well as easy access to several interstate highways, and many residents commute to downtown Chicago for work. Protecting this funding and making sure it is used to improve and maintain our transportation infrastructure will not only support our local businesses and commuters, it will also support and create much-needed jobs for members of our trade unions. I support closing corporate tax loopholes, increasing taxes on millionaires and cutting unnecessary state spending in order to pay for our transportation infrastructure needs.

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?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I believe that the state will only be able to find a solution to this issue if all the affected groups, including representatives for unions and for taxpayers, work together. This is not a problem that is going to be solved overnight, as it took many years of the state not contributing enough to the funds as well as poor investment returns to get to the huge unfunded pension liability we have today. One of the worst funded pension systems is the General Assembly Retirement System because of the many perks that legislators have voted to give themselves over the years. I will not take a pension if elected, as I believe that if members of the General Assembly had been more focused on properly funding the pension systems and less focused on how to get the best pensions for themselves, the pension funds would be in a lot better shape today.

Do you support measures to reduce Illinois’ prison population and divert more money into community-based services?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

The voters of my district have told me at their doors that they are very concerned about keeping our community’s neighborhoods safe and secure. I am opposed to measures that would jeopardize that safety by releasing criminals from out of prison early.

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?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I am very supportive of law enforcement’s efforts to keep our communities safe, and I have not heard my district’s voters express concern about this topic. Area residents are much more concerned about keeping our community’s neighborhoods safe and secure by providing additional funding for law enforcement and by hiring more officers to work in the 16th Police District. They also want to see increased funding for important programs used to track dangerous sex offenders and the effort to test more rape kits in order to reduce the state’s backlog and put more rapists in prison. 

Do you support allowing transgender persons born in Illinois to change the gender marker on their birth certificate without undergoing surgery first?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I support equal treatment for all Illinois residents. I look forward to learning more about this issue as it is debated and discussed in Springfield.

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.
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

This is not a simple or easy issue, and I believe end-of-life decisions are very personal and should be discussed with families and doctors. I walk door-to-door in my district every day to speak to voters about the issues that are most important to them, and this is not an issue that has come up. Voters more often bring up their concerns with the impact that the budget impasse has had on their loved ones through cuts to meals for seniors, programs for children with disabilities and breast cancer screening programs.

What measures do you support to reduce levels of gun violence?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

We as a state need to be doing more to reduce gun violence. I support common-sense legislation that keeps guns out of the hand of criminals and keeps our neighborhoods and our schools safe. I will work to ban assault weapons, expand background checks to prevent people with violent histories or mental health problems from obtaining guns, and allow the courts to remove firearms from the homes of domestic abusers and other violent criminals. To make sure the background check process is being followed and to crack down on gun trafficking, gun dealers should be required to be licensed. I will also fight to make sure that individuals on the terrorist watch list are not able to purchase guns or obtain gun permits.

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?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I support raising the minimum wage, as I believe a person working full time should be able to make enough money to support his or her family. The current minimum wage in Illinois for employees age 18 and older is $8.25 an hour, and a full-time employee working 40 hours a week at that wage earns only $16,500 a year. This is not enough money to raise a family on in Illinois. Also, as my district is made up of both Chicago and suburban residents, I do not believe that the work done by suburban workers should be worth less than the work done by Chicago workers, though I applaud the city for taking the initiative to increase the minimum wage. There are several different proposals to raise the minimum wage in Illinois, and I plan on working with businesses, labor organizations and community groups to decide which one best helps working families get on the path to a living wage.

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?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I am against tax increases that would impact the middle-class families of my district, including a new 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?
Respuesta de Merry Marwig:

I agree that in order to preserve our environment for future generations we need to work harder to develop renewable energy and rely less on fossil fuels. If we do not act now, we risk damaging not only the environment but also our future quality of life and the Illinois economy overall. I specifically support the Clean Jobs Bill, House Bill 2607. This legislation will create an estimated 32,000 new clean energy jobs while increasing energy efficiency and lowering costs for consumers. It will also require a larger portion of Illinois’ energy portfolio to be made from renewable sources by 2030. I believe this legislation is a good step towards not only a better environment in Illinois, but also in bringing more good-paying jobs to the state. I would need to review other proposals before supporting them to ensure that they do not place a greater tax or fee burden on middle class families.

Videos (1)

— October 3, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times

Merry Marwig tells why she should be the state representative from the 20th district.

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