Election 2024 Questionnaire: Amy ‘Murri’ Briel, Illinois House District 76

Election 2024
Democratic candidate Amy Murri Briel, who is vying for the nomination for the 76th district seat in the Illinois House of Representatives, answers a question Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024, in a meet the candidates forum at the DeKalb Public Library. Democratic candidates Cohen Barnes and Carolyn Zasada also spoke at the event organized by DeKalb Stands and co-sponsored by the DeKalb County Democrats.

Amy Murri Briel, a Democratic candidate for Illinois House District 76 in the March primary election, answered these questions from the Shaw Local News Network.

Full Name: Amy Murri Briel

What office are you seeking? State Representative IL 76th District

What public offices, if any, have you previously held? None

City: Ottawa

Occupation: Candidate for Representative Illinois 76th District

Campaign website: www.MurriBriel.com

Considering the increasing influx of migrants to Illinois, how do you propose the state should address the challenges?

The initial influx required an emergency response from the state and the immediate needs of those migrants arriving were addressed. Now that we have a better idea of what to expect, the state should be creating a proactive plan that includes multiple areas of the state, expedited employment approvals, and centers that actively assist migrants in reaching their final destinations or aiding them in building a life in Illinois. The federal government has a responsibility to financially help Illinois as the State advances the American Dream for legal migrants.

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

Infrastructure, both capital and human, is the most pressing issue facing the district. When I speak of infrastructure, it must include basic essentials such as adequate affordable power, broadband, and cellular service but also infrastructure we don’t often think of such as the effects of climate change on our rivers and the impact that has on our farmers. It must include issues facing towns like Oglesby desperately working with antiquated and unhealthy wastewater treatment. It means expanding the resources that the state currently provides to our area in childcare, elder care, mental health resources. Having worked across the district with small businesses, corporations, farmers, manufacturers, counties, state agency employees, educators from pre-K to post secondary — the issues are similar.

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

Propose a joint resolution initiating a ballot referendum for voters to decide on the addition of an amendment to the Illinois State Constitution guaranteeing reproductive freedom for all women in Illinois.

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

I cannot say that any bill that has passed warrants a repeal. I would say that many should be tweaked and improved with stakeholder input. Great ideas brought forth with good intentions rarely become successful legislation without understanding the consequences of the bill and its impact on the frontline stakeholders.

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

I do not support term limits for representatives or senators but I do support term limits on leadership positions. There are advantages to having representatives hold office for multiple terms such as institutional knowledge that can only be acquired over time, relationships built with stakeholders across the district and an understanding of the challenges they face. Limiting time in leadership allows for innovation and forward progress in governing while maintaining a certain degree of continuity.

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

Make a permanent CTC, child tax credit, specific to Illinois residents.

Remove the Regressive Grocery Tax.

Expand Property Tax-Aide criteria for the three statewide programs for older Illinois residents.

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

To be quite candid, my priority is securing the necessary resources to alleviate the challenges and struggles that people in my district face on a daily basis. Rural life is difficult, and resources to rural communities are often slashed in the name of “fiscal responsibility”. Frankly, we need a lot more money spent out here just to maintain a basic standard of living that other areas of Illinois enjoy. Taking care of your people is fiscally responsible.

Do you support the Illinois gun ban? Why or why not? Please be specific.

There are many complexities at play here that make it difficult to support any single measure because we need to look at gun violence holistically. For example, we tend to focus almost solely on assault weapons when, in reality, handguns account for around 60% of all gun deaths.

So there’s nuance and a delicacy to all of this that requires us to look at the whole problem.

What is your opinion of the role of tax incentives in economic development and business growth? Should tax incentives be offered to corporations to entice them to plant roots in local communities? Why or why not?

Tax incentives are one tool in the economic development belt but using it should be done with prudence and genuine tangible benefits guaranteed to the community by the corporations.

How would you classify the state of public health in your district? Do you believe access to affordable healthcare is an issue? Why or why not? If you believe it is an issue, what ideas do you have to remedy it?

The district needs more access to health care. Not only in the healthcare desert of the Valley but in Dekalb as well. I met a family in Dekalb whose 10 year old son’s appendix ruptured. The hospital had to lifeflight the boy to Rockford for an appendectomy because there were no pediatric surgeons in the Dekalb area. That a child can’t get an urgent, routine surgery without being airlifted should be inconceivable. We have to remember that health care is provided by private, profit driven entities and not provided by the state. The state can incentivise medical services to move into rural areas in a similar way we offer corporations tax incentives to locate here. In the short term we need to work with our Federal representatives to expand support for telehealth and invest in mobile health clinics until a permanent solution can be found.