David Welter, Illinois House 75th District 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Illinois House of Representatives, 75th District candidate David Welter

Illinois House of Representatives, 75th District candidate David Welter answered Shaw Local’s election questionnaire for the Illinois House primary election.

Voting ends for the primary election on the evening of June 28.

Full Name: David Welter

What office are you seeking? Re-Election Illinois House of Representatives 75th District

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Grundy County Board Member 2010-2016

Chairman 2014-2016

Vice-Chairman 2012-2014

City: Morris

Occupation: Human Resources Manager Illinois Truck & Equipment & Realtor at RE/MAX Top Properties

Education: Morris Community High School

Joliet Junior College

Campaign Website: davidwelter.com

What are the top issues facing your district and what would you like to do to address those issues?

Supporting and strengthening the robust energy sector jobs in our community, reducing crime, providing tax relief, empowering parents and local school districts to make decisions for our kids’ education instead of imposing one-size-fits-all state mandates, and passing ethics reform to begin restoring public confidence in state government and root out corruption. I will continue to support legislation and policies to make progress on all of these important issues.

If COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths rise again, what mitigations, if any, should the state pursue?

The Illinois General Assembly needs to place limits on the Governor’s executive orders so that they can never be used the way they were at the outset of the pandemic to shut down businesses and schools. The people’s elected representatives in the Illinois General Assembly need to have involvement in how the state responds to public health emergencies. We need to restore checks and balances in state government by requiring the General Assembly to vote on mitigation policies instead of ceding this authority unilaterally to this Governor or any future Governor.

In light of Michael Madigan’s indictment, what steps should the legislature take to address corruption and ethics concerns in the state?

The Democrat majority in the General Assembly has failed to pass real meaningful ethics reform, even in the wake of the recent resignation of former Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope, who cited the legislature rendering her office a “paper tiger” that is not empowered to hold legislators accountable as the reason why she stepped down. We need to pass strong ethics reforms to root out corruption in Illinois. As of today, an Illinois lawmaker can still be a registered lobbyist with the City of Chicago while serving in the General Assembly. That is a clear conflict of interest that should be prohibited. The Legislative Inspector General should be given the ability to issue subpoenas and investigate legislators without prior approval from the group of legislators who sit on the Legislative Ethics Commission. We need to prohibit legislators and their immediate family members from lobbying state and local officials; prevent legislators from becoming lobbyists for two years after they leave office; prohibit the use of campaign funds to pay for a legal defense in any criminal case or a defense in a civil case pertaining to corruption, sexual harassment claims, or discrimination claims. Illinois Democrats blocked all Republican efforts to pass the aforementioned reforms into law during the current 102 nd General Assembly.

If there was one bill that you could get through the legislature next year, what would it be?

Limit the Governor’s ability to use executive orders impacting people’s livelihoods and their kids’ education without an up-or-down vote by the people’s elected representatives in the General Assembly.

If there was one recently passed law you could repeal, what would it be?

I would repeal the SAFE-T Act that was passed in a highly partisan manner in January 2021. We need to support our law enforcement and first responders, not make their jobs more difficult. We need to support those who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. It makes me sick to think that the needs of our hardworking men and women who wear the badge have taken a back seat to strengthen the position of criminal offenders in the SAFE-T Act.

Do you support term limits? If yes, why and what would they look like? And if no, why not?

Yes, I support term limits. It is always a benefit to the district to have an experienced Representative or Senator that understands how to effectively bring people together to draft and pass legislation; but with partisan gerrymandering one political party is able to draw their own districts every ten years to diminish competition and virtually ensure they get reelected and remain in power. We need to enact an independent redistricting law to prevent the abuse of gerrymandering and the end the corrupt practice of politicians choosing their own voters.

Inflation across the country has greatly impacted the price of gasoline, food and other supplies. What should the legislature do to address these issues?

While inflation is mostly a federal issue, there are measures we can take at the state-level to mitigate it. I believe that we should start by working to keep Illinois residents in Illinois. We just witnessed in the 2020 census that Illinois continues to lose population. For too long politicians have continued to raise state taxes and fees; making Illinois an increasingly less attractive and less affordable place to live, work, raise a family, start a business and enjoy retirement security, relative to neighboring states and other parts of the country. This needs to change immediately. If we attract more residents and businesses with a friendlier tax policy, we will have more consumers spending money and increased revenues coming in from a larger, more stable tax base. Achieving this is a goal we should all be working toward right now.

Taxes are a top concern of Illinois voters. What do you think the underlying issues are and how would you propose addressing them?

Taxes in Illinois are too high. They are the primary reason why we are shrinking in population. Take a look at our neighboring states. They are all tax friendly environments for residents and businesses, and they are seeing population growth and a stringer economic rebound from the pandemic. Illinois legislators have relentlessly gone into our pockets over decades. It not only has to stop, but we have to start reversing the damage by changing the policies. What our state government has done under former House Speaker Mike Madigan and his machine is unforgivable. We need to prevent further unnecessary tax hikes from being imposed, while also encouraging new businesses to locate and invest in Illinois, which will lead to more people choosing to moveTOIllinois for jobs an opportunity.

What are three things the state legislature could do to promote better fiscal responsibility within state government?

There needs to be budget-making reforms including requiring Balanced Budgets by setting and adhering to a Revenue Estimate on the front end of the State Budget process, as is currently required by law, but which supermajority Democrats sidestep year after year. We need to mandate transparency in budgeting by requiring a minimum 72-hour review period before any budget bill can be voted on, to allow the public and legislators on both sides of the aisle time to actually read it and give input. All spending bills should be thoroughly vetted in both chambers of the General Assembly, not rushed through literally in the middle of the night like we saw again this year. The state budget should be forced to live within its means by not spending more than we take in; begin to pay down our pension debt; and adequately fund a social safety net for the most vulnerable children, seniors and families in our state.

How would you propose addressing the problems with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services?

DCFS in Illinois has been mismanaged for years. I have repeatedly made public calls for an overhaul and a formal audit of the Department of Children and Family Services so that we can rapidly get to the bottom of the agency’s failures and take action to remedy them. Unfortunately, Governor Pritzker continues to evade responsibility and his allies in the General Assembly have taken little to no action to hold the agency accountable over the last three years. Too often it takes the death of a child to bring DCFS’ ongoing failures to public light.

The Pritzker Administration has continually placed politics over professionalism when it comes to appointing state department heads. Not just in the case of DCFS but also with our Department of Veteran’s Affairs, who waited weeks to respond to a COVID-19 outbreak in our nearby LaSalle Veterans Home; resulting in 36 tragic deaths and the resignation of Pritzker’s handpicked agency director, longtime Mike Madigan ally and former state rep. Linda Chapa LaVia.

What can be done at a state level to address crime?

We need to support our police. It’s that simple. We are operating in a state where legislators from the Democrat side of the aisle through the policies they have voted for are essentially saying, “It’s ok not to respect law enforcement.” This needs to stop. We need to give our officers, troopers, and sheriffs the tools and resources necessary to do their job and keep us safe. We need to reshape how we view and treat those who wear the badge.

Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?

Election integrity should always be of the utmost importance. I believe that the 2020 General Election made it clear that the integrity of the American electoral process is something we, as a society, need to constantly be vigilant about and working to protect. I still trust and believe in our election process. Joe Biden was certified by Congress as the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election.

What is your position on the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol?

I support our constitutional right to peacefully assemble and peacefully protest. Criminal acts should be punished according to our laws and Constitution. Attempts to influence elections through violence should be universally discouraged and punished.

Illinois has seen significant revenue growth from marijuana sales and enhanced gambling. Are there other industries the state should consider to grow revenue?

Illinois needs to focus on growing our tax base and not just growing more marijuana. Chicago Democrats and their reckless policies have continued to drive residents out of our state in record amounts. That has effectively shrunk our tax base and led us down the path of expanded gambling and relying on marijuana sales tax revenues. It should never have come to this. We need to focus on lowering our ever-increasing corporate tax rate and building an economic climate that attracts new jobs and new residents to our state. That is the right way to grow revenue in Illinois.