Arin Thrower, Illinois House 66th District 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire – Shaw Local

Full Name: Arin’s Launcher

What office are you looking for? Illinois State House Representative – District 66

What offices, if any, have you already held? Dundee Township Supervisor (elected 2021)

City: West Dundee

Occupation: Township Supervisor

Education: 1993 Dundee Crown Secondary School

1997 Eastern Illinois University (BA, Communications)

Campaign website: www.throwerforrep.com

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

The main issues are the economy, our education system and public safety.

Economy: A competitive tax environment and sensible regulations are necessary to create a prosperous state. Unfortunately, Illinois falls short in both categories. Endless tax increases are hurting working families and mandates are forcing family stores and restaurants to close while national chains stay open. We need to support taxpayers by keeping taxes low and allowing all businesses to thrive.

Education: Raising taxes does not equate to better education. Too often, politics has taken precedence over improving education standards. Students deserve every opportunity to succeed and learn the skills they need to become the leaders of tomorrow. To do this, schools must remain open and parents must have a say in the school curriculum for their children. Illinois is facing a worsening teacher shortage, and we need to make sure our children have high-quality teachers in their classrooms.

Public Safety: Effective government keeps communities safe. However, Chicago politicians have loosened provisions that keep felons off the streets and tied the hands of law enforcement and first responders. We must provide law enforcement with the training and resources necessary to ensure that our neighborhoods continue to be the safest places to operate a business and raise a family.

If COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths increase again, what mitigation measures, if any, should the state pursue?

When the pandemic first hit our state, it was a scary time for everyone. But as we learn more about the spread of COVID and its effects on people of different ages and with different medical conditions, the restrictions placed on our small businesses, our schools, our churches should have been driven by transparent data and metrics so we can all understand the rules put in place by our Governor.

Additionally, elected officials from the General Assembly and local governments, including mayors, should have been involved in the conversation about the closure of businesses and schools.

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

Unfortunately, Illinois politics has been plagued by a culture of corruption for decades. The need for ethics reform is at an all-time high and should include provisions prohibiting legislators and their family members from lobbying state and local authorities, requiring local levels of government to publicly display a detailed list of monthly expenses and prohibit the use of campaign funds to pay for a defense in any criminal case or a defense in a civil case relating to corruption, allegations of sexual harassment or allegations of discrimination. In addition, the Inspector General of Legislation should be given greater autonomy to prosecute wrongdoing.

If there was one bill you could push through the Legislative Assembly next year, what would it be?

Currently the Township of Dundee owns and is responsible for maintaining 1,000 acres of open space land in District 66. Although the land was purchased by referendum over 20 years ago, there is no had no plan on how to maintain it. In order to prevent new tax proposals for the maintenance of this property, I would like to see a law passed that allows the use of a small percentage of open land for environmentally friendly projects that are allowed to generate income through organic farming, solar fields, and other means. Then the income would be reinvested in the properties for the good of the community.

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

One of the main issues residents have told me is their concern for the safety of their families and businesses. Although attempts at follow-up bills have been made to address major flaws over the past year, the “SAFE-T Act” must be repealed as soon as possible. Since its passage, there has been an increase in crime and murder not only in downtown Chicago, but in the suburbs. If the law is still in effect next year, the cash bond will be eliminated, almost guaranteeing a tax increase for Illinois residents. We need legislation that supports the role of law enforcement in making our neighborhoods a safe place for residents and businesses.

Do you support term limits? If so, why and what would they look like? And if not, why not?

Setting term limits is a good first step to ending decades of corruption and allowing for new ideas and perspectives while diluting the unchecked power of legislative leaders, regardless of political party.

I fully support term limits at all levels of government. From a county school board member to a town or city mayor, county council member, state legislator, and all the way to the governor’s office, I believe it is appropriate to serve 8 years in any position.

Inflation across the country has had a huge impact on the price of gasoline, food, and other supplies. What should the legislator do to solve these problems?

With the rising prices of the commodities we use every day, big challenges still exist for our wallets in the form of state income tax and high property taxes.

Residents and businesses are being driven out of Illinois because we have the highest tax rates in the nation, the second highest property taxes, the second highest gas tax and massive retirement debt . Lawmakers must provide substantial relief in our overall tax burden so that we can attract new businesses and grow our economy.

Taxes are a major concern for Illinois voters. What do you see as the underlying issues and how would you propose to address them?

Illinoisans pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. High personal income taxes, high sales taxes and high corporate taxes only compound the problem. Yet, instead of limiting spending and reforming programs, Springfield politicians like my opponent voted to raise their own salaries and raise spending.

Illinois has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. The solution is state government that lives within its means and is supported by a growing economy. We need to make sure government agencies work more efficiently, which I did in local government. Taxpayers should see a positive return on their investment and know that their money is being spent in the best way possible and not just spent on one-time election year stuff. And we need to encourage job growth and investment so taxpayer families can find well-paying careers and live and grow here.

What three things could the state legislature do to promote better fiscal accountability in state government?

Through my work in local government at the city, county and township level, I have found that there are always items in the budget that can be cut and programs and services that can be managed more efficiently. Workers tasked with spending taxpayers’ money must be held accountable for assessing and rationalizing layoff levels.

This month, Illinois Democrats in the General Assembly passed a 3,500-page budget that no one has had time to fully read or properly review. It contains billions of dollars in new state spending, which will most certainly result in higher taxes for our residents. The budget process is clearly broken here when bills of this magnitude can be passed in the wee hours of the morning while taxpayers sleep. We must demand transparency throughout the budget process and demand more structure and time for public scrutiny when it comes to passing spending bills.

How would you propose to resolve issues with the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services?

As the mother of a 9 year old daughter who brings so much joy to my life, it is absolutely heartbreaking to hear stories of neglect and abuse of young children. It is imperative that we do all we can to protect these innocent children.

Recently, DCFS received hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding, only to let down those who need our help, including young AJ Freund at Crystal Lake. New leadership is needed within DCFS and we demand a full audit of this organization. The state should provide additional safeguards and training to better prepare frontline responders and investigators to respond to violent homes. We also need an urgent boost for more quality foster homes, including those willing and able to care for children with special needs.

What can be done at the state level to fight crime?

We are losing a record number of officers across the state due to the efforts of those calling to defund the police. We need to support those on the front lines and ensure they have the resources they need as well as the proper policies in place to properly protect us. We will no longer compromise the safety of our families and businesses and must repeal the SAFE-T Act.

Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?

Yes.

What is your position on the January 6, 2021 riot at the United States Capitol?

Activities that took place on January 6, 2021 are unacceptable. Participants in these illegal activities must be punished in accordance with our laws and our Constitution.

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

We need to grow and retain our employer base in Illinois. In order to recruit new employers to invest in Illinois and grow our tax base, we must work to retain our highly skilled workforce, improve our education system, and protect and promote a high quality of life. I am ready and willing to work with industries and government officials to expand innovation and provide more opportunities for Illinois workers.