October 03, 2022
Election


Election

Tony McCombie, Illinois House District 89 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

Illinois House District 89 candidate Tony McCombie

Full Name: Tony McCombie

What office are you seeking? State Representative - 89th District

What offices, if any, have you previously held?

· Illinois State Representative – 71st District

· City Council Member in Savanna, IL

· Mayor of Savanna, IL

City: Savanna, IL

Occupation: Blue Appraisals LLC – Owner/Real Estate Appraiser and Mel Foster Co, Savanna – Real Estate Broker

Education:

· B.A. from Western Illinois University, Macomb

· Master Classes (Public Administration) – University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC)

Campaign Website: Mccombieforillinois.com

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

When hearing from the constituents I serve, as well as those I visit in Northwest Illinois the top issues, I hear is the cost of property taxes and the higher tax burdens many small communities face. As a border district, many see what other states are doing to keep more dollars in the hands of the taxpayer. The constituents I serve understand the need for structural and political reform in the State of Illinois. Springfield continues to pass policies that enhance regulations, add costly mandates, and increase levels of bureaucracy. Most recently, not fully re-paying the unemployment trust fund is ultimately a tax on jobs and another bill our business community will have to pay while benefits decrease. Illinois can craft and pass legislation to support and grow businesses, protect taxpayers, and attract working families to move back into our state.

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

Sadly, many lives were lost, and many lives forever impacted. Over these last two years, we have learned many things and know that many of the mitigations concerning education, economy and mortality did not have the desired outcomes. The Illinois legislature is a co-equal branch of government and should have been given the facts and the opportunity to weigh in on mitigation strategies. Concerning COVID-19, Governor Pritzker continues to rule our state through executive orders. I will continue to advocate for people mitigating their own risk. Unfortunately... many have used the pandemic to build fear and cause personal and professional divide. We cannot allow leaders or people in power to play politics with our public health.

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

Last year, when Speaker Madigan stepped down, the majority party passed a watered-down ethics reform bill. This half-hearted effort caused Legislative Inspector General Pope to step down from her position. The bill reduced the oversight and authority of the Legislative Inspector General’s office. This ethics bill was an egregious example of ways that Illinois could have changed course but still protects the same out- of-touch corrupt politicians.

Much to the chagrin of taxpayers, an elected legislator is allowed to be a paid lobbyist for a local municipality and campaign funds can be used for their defense in a criminal or civil court case. A bill I have sponsored to promote transparency and the voice of the people is to allow any bill with five co- sponsors from each party to be called for an up or down vote in a substantive committee.

Illinois should not be known for corruption and the leadership of the majority party needs to answer for the lack of reforms that continue year after year.

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

Pam Knight’s Bill – Pam Knight was a Department of Children and Family Services investigator that was brutally assaulted while on the job serving our most vulnerable children. She later succumbed to those injuries. The law does not treat the workers within DCFS or the Department of Aging as other agencies like law enforcement officers, teachers, and other public officials, but my legislation would fix that. I have had several bills since 2018, one of which passed the House once but was stalled in the Senate. Again this year, after the brutal murder of DCFS worker Diedre Silas, a similar bill was crafted and passed the Senate and stalled in the House and by the Governor.

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

Repealing the SAFE-T Act should be the priority of the Illinois General Assembly. This bill emboldened criminals and ignored victims in the state. After the passage of this bill, many of Illinois finest law enforcement agencies around the state saw resignations and retirements. There has been legislation to amend the original Act, but these trailer bills have not addressed the underlying issues or the dangerous policies of the bill. The continued attack on qualified immunity and push for unfunded mandates threaten the future of law enforcement. Elimination of cash bail (which will not take effect until January 1, 2023) needs to be reversed before implementation.

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

Yes I do, and I am proud to serve in the House of Representatives where Leader Jim Durkin led the charge to put a 10 year term on house leadership.

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

A tax incentive bill was passed this year (SB 0157). I supported this initiative, but the bill does not address the underlying issues of higher costs or inflation. The bill did not go nearly far enough and many in my district and throughout parts of the state will not realize the minimal changes. I have opposed gas tax hikes and work to lower taxes and fees to help Illinois families wherever feasible to provide relief to working families. A recent example includes my strong advocacy for reducing trailer fees.

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

We need to look within, stop political appointments for agency department heads, enact agency audit recommendations, review agency procedures and processes, decrease overall spending and pass structural policies that will grow our state alleviating any push for higher taxes.

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

Pass a revenue estimate, as required by statute

Release Budget Language weeks before voting and consider a two-year budget Stop outspending revenues

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

The Department of Children and Family Services has recently been in the news for several contempt of court rulings to fail to place children in their care appropriately as well as several stories of children dying while under the watch of DCFS. There have been 9 directors of DCFS over the last 20 years. The lack of ownership of the problems and leadership does not enable the agency to right itself. The Governor has released statements about protecting the most vulnerable and the workers, but his lack of action shows he is not serious. This is a huge department and there are a lot of talented folks working to protect our most vulnerable. We hear from many of the workers, and they have good ideas on how to better prepare and serve Illinois families. To better the department, we have to have an honest and transparent discussion and investigations to reveal what is not being done properly.

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

Repealing the SAFE – T Act should be at the top priority! Illinois needs to stop its push for no penalty enhancements, de-criminalizing crimes and de-felonizing illicit drugs. We offer many chances to offenders, but there must be an acknowledgement that some cannot be reformed and must serve punitive time for their crimes.

Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?

Yes

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

All criminal acts should be investigated and punished. Attempts to influence any policy with violence should be discouraged by all leaders and prosecuted appropriately.

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

I am not sure those are the best avenues to grow revenue. I would rather see our population grow through recruitment of businesses, better education and more opportunity. All would work to decrease our overall tax burden. We can do that by directing our focus on legislation that will build business, decrease financial and policy burdens, and lessen government overreach.