Election 2024 Questionnaire: Liz Bishop, Illinois House District 76

Election 2024
Liz Bishop candidate for the 76th District speaks during a candidate forum on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024 at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby.

Liz Bishop, a Republican candidate for Illinois House District 76 in the March primary election, answered these questions from the Shaw Local News Network.

Full Name: Liz Bishop

What office are you seeking? Illinois State Representative, District 76

What public offices, if any, have you previously held? Precinct committeeman (2020- ); IL GOP deputy state central committeeman (2021-2022)

City: La Salle

Occupation: Retired banker, community volunteer

Campaign website: electlizbishop.com

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

The state of Illinois has spent hundreds of millions of dollars dealing with the more than 34,000 migrants who have arrived in the state. In a tight budget year, this expense, borne from bad policies, takes funding away from programs for our Illinois citizens who need help, including those with disabilities, veterans, and families struggling to make ends meet. Current procedures at the U.S. border have created a chaotic and unnecessary humanitarian crisis. The federal government must secure the border and provide resources to border states to manage this crisis. Illinois must be able to prioritize taxpaying families to ensure all people coming into our state are doing so legally and have a safe place to live and an opportunity to succeed.

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

The 76th District’s top issue is the same throughout the state: the ever-increasing cost of living in Illinois. High taxes and increased government red tape drive people to leave the state. Illinois is losing young families who struggle to put food on the table and retirees whose retirement savings are not adequate to pay the bills. It is well past time to eliminate unnecessary spending from the state budget so Illinois becomes an affordable place to live. This will require creativity and a willingness to work across the aisle to get the results taxpayers deserve.

I will fight for affordable, accessible healthcare. The recent closings of two hospitals in our district have taught us some very hard lessons. I will support legislation to address healthcare disparities, and I will fight to ensure our community’s healthcare needs are met.

In addition, Illinoisans need to be able to afford our power bills. As Democrats continue to force the closure of energy generating facilities, we have to address potential energy shortages. With the recent bipartisan legislation to lift the ban on the construction of nuclear power plants, we have an opportunity to bring in affordable energy and good paying jobs.

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

With unfunded mandates being a driving force behind out-of-control property taxes, I would propose a bill to evaluate and eliminate unnecessary and outdated unfunded mandates. This, along with allowing some flexibility, would relieve pressure on local governments and start the process of reducing property taxes

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

I would advocate for ending Illinois’ sanctuary state status. Texas is not sending migrants to all states, but only states who have enacted policies to open our borders to all people, no matter the cost. Our fiscal responsibility is to families who pay taxes for services in our state. I stand for a secure border and a welcoming path for those who follow our laws to become part of the American dream. Illinois lawmakers must prioritize services for our veterans, seniors, and most vulnerable populations.

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

I support term limits for leadership and believe we need to limit the power of the majority to enact unilateral policy on the whole state. Ideally, voters should determine when it is time for an elected official to leave public office, but incumbency is powerful and so I’d also like to reform campaign finance laws so that we have fewer career politicians and allow new ideas to come forward.

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

The underlying issues are unfunded mandates and out-of-control government spending. It’s time to work across the aisle to eliminate unnecessary mandates, especially in our schools where teachers need to be allowed to teach foundational skills, such as reading, writing, and arithmetic, while also preparing students for the demands of the modern workforce. Education fosters individual potential and economic prosperity. We need to support educators, enhance curriculum standards, and ensure schools are adequately resourced to meet the diverse needs of all students.

It’s also past time to address out-of-control government spending. By implementing reasonable budgetary requirements and setting clear priorities, government offices will have to work more efficiently to keep expenses down.

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

To promote fiscal responsibility within state government, I strongly advocate for the enforcement of a balanced budget requirement. This means the state must live within its means, not spending more than it receives in revenue. This will necessitate prioritizing spending effectively and may require making difficult decisions to cut or reallocate funds to prevent deficit spending, ensuring a more sustainable financial future for Illinois.

Another key action is the auditing and streamlining of state programs. By conducting thorough reviews of all state programs, we can identify inefficiencies and waste, as well as opportunities to consolidate services.

Finally, promoting long-term financial planning is essential. This includes setting aside funds for future liabilities, such as pension obligations and infrastructure maintenance, to stabilize the state’s financial health and avoid sudden budgetary crises.

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

Illinois’ current gun laws have not stopped gun violence, and enforcement has been confusing to lawful gun owners. We must make data-driven decisions and ensure our law enforcement and first responders have our full support to get guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

We must provide more and better mental healthcare for vulnerable individuals. Stronger communities, where neighbors help neighbors, reduce fear and violence, and create better places to live and raise a family.

The 76th has a long tradition of family hunting and shooting for sport, and I will always support the right to continue those proud traditions.

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?

Until Illinois passes comprehensive tax reform, tax incentives are a way to entice businesses to set up shop in our communities instead of neighboring states. The deals should be fully transparent, inclusive of both Republicans and Democrats, and should always benefit Illinois taxpayers.

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’s an issue, what ideas do you have to remedy it?

Access to local healthcare has been limited with the recent hospital closings in Peru and Spring Valley. Although we received the welcome news of the planned re-opening of the Peru location, it made me hyper-aware of how quickly rural healthcare can disappear and motivated me to run for state representative to do all I can to prevent healthcare deserts in this district and throughout the state.

This life-and-death issue demands a relentless approach to advocate for affordable, accessible healthcare throughout the region. I would support legislation to address the issues with healthcare disparities in Illinois, and I would fight to ensure each family can rely on nearby quality care for emergency services, routine care, and everything in between.