Election 2024 Questionnaire: Hillary Kurzawa, Illinois Senate District 19

Election 2024
Will County Board candidate Hillary Kurzawa

Hillary Kurzawa, a candidate for Illinois Senate District 19 in the March primary election, answered these questions from the Shaw Local News Network.

Full Name: Hillary Mattsey Kurzawa

What office are you seeking? Illinois State Senate District 19

What public offices, if any, have you previously held? Precinct committeewomen, Frankfort Township Trustee

City: Frankfort

Occupation: Cosmetologist, Stay At Home Mom

Campaign website: www.hillarykurzawa.com

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

The influx of migrants is a direct result of federal and state sanctuary policies, as well as Governor JB Pritzker’s actions to roll out the red carpet for those who are undocumented to come to our state. I have always been a proponent of legal immigration and strict sanctuary review for the exact reason we are having this debate. The financial obligation we are facing with the lack of strong federal borders is unsustainable at this current rate. Illinois has funded over 1 billion dollars in free healthcare for migrants. The State of Illinois has also invested hundreds of millions into housing, food, and transportation for migrants coming into our state. They have also awarded cities grants to expand housing of migrants across the suburbs. JB Pritzker has failed local municipalities with his lack of communication and inability to handle this crisis leaving the mayors of towns of all sizes to foot the bill for handling migrants with no preparation. This is a public safety concern and shows that politicians in our state who welcomed these people only did it to benefit their political agenda. I would work to hold the Governor accountable for all spending related to migrants and force an audit of all the spending from the previous two fiscal years related to migrants. We need to also readdress our sanctuary status, our financial obligation, and begin to work towards reducing our taxpayer liability.

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

I believe that the most pressing issues facing the residents of my district are rising taxes from legislators in Springfield and increased crime.

High Taxes- The State of Illinois is one of the top-ranked states for out-migration of our residents. These residents flee for states that have lower taxes and more economic opportunities. Illinois’ potential has been seized by the Democratic super majorities in both chambers which have a rich history of corruption and fiscal mismanagement. This has resulted in our state being one of the most expensive places to live in the country. We need to make Illinois a place where people want to live again, not leave and it starts right here in SD19 to lower taxes, bring in more businesses, support trade school education opportunities, and create good-paying jobs. As State Senator, I would also work with my fellow Republicans and across the aisle to bring tax relief to the people of Illinois.

Crime- While there hasn’t been an extreme rise in crime in Frankfort and immediate surrounding areas, there has been a sharp increase throughout my district. Many communities have seen businesses leave due to this increase and it only makes the resident tax liability larger. Another consequence of this rise in crime is that it makes it extremely difficult to attract new retail businesses, further interfering with potential growth in these communities. We must make sure at the state level we are supporting our residents by bolstering public safety and reassessing failed legislation to bring stronger consequences for criminal activity.

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

I would work to implement stricter political ethics regulations, including term limits on politicians and fair maps for the state of Illinois.

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

The Safe T Act.

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

I 100% support term limits. I believe this would help to restore trust in the government. I personally believe it should not exceed ten years but would be willing to come to the table to discuss an alternative number.

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

The Illinois property tax problem is a result of people and businesses moving out of our state. If you look at the state as a whole the tax burden is shared by all of our residents. When residents and businesses flee it shrinks the tax base creating a larger piece of the pie for each remaining taxpayer to be held accountable for. Add to the burden of taxpayers hundreds of millions in unfunded pension liabilities, historic spending in our Illinois State budget, and a lack of people and businesses moving into our state to make up for the loss. All of these factors contribute to our high property taxes.

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

As a mother of three running a household living in today’s economy, I have had to practice financial responsibility, restraint, and planning. We need to limit unnecessary partisan pet projects, reduce our migrant financial obligation, and truly assess overlapping services provided by the almost 7000 governmental bodies in Illinois. It seems that the new normal in Illinois is creating new boards with residential tax obligations to deal with services that are already provided at the state and local levels. Why are we not fixing inadequacies in our existing local, county, and state governing entities? The tax and spend culture in Illinois has to stop.

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

I believe that our state gun laws should align with the United States federal standards. This act circumvents the Second Amendment entirely. Furthermore, it does nothing to combat illegal guns brought into our state. We must be addressing the root causes of gun violence, mental health, and substance abuse at the core.

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?

I am in support of tax incentives for development and business growth. The way to make Illinois an economic destination where businesses want to open is by cutting red tape associated with operations and exploring mutually beneficial tax incentives with more defined requirements, like a year(s) commitment to remain in the state after tax incentives expire.

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?

While I believe our local, county, and state are doing a better job of providing healthcare to our residents in need, I would like to see an accurate audit of funds being spent and if we are using our resources wisely/responsibly. Every year we are given a state budget that provides more funding for care, but it seems there are always issues, discrepancies, and limitations at the end of the day.