I’ve written on a number of other issues which concern the people of Illinois, and you can read what I’ve written by going to my blog: steve463.com.
Among the major issues which I’m working on are the following:
Since the brutal murder of A.J. Freund in 2019, I’ve made it my mission to reform DCFS, the agency responsible for seeing that A.J. and hundreds of kids like him are taken out of abusive and neglectful households and given a chance to have normal lives.
I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that our child welfare system as currently constituted is broken and cannot be fixed without systemic change.
The time for half measures is over. The child welfare system will not work unless there is accountability at the local level, accountability to the community that’s being served. The top-down manner of administering the child welfare system in Illinois doesn’t work and must change.
The past year has seen a tsunami of State government initiatives pointed straight at our public school system, all with the result that schools are losing local control to the dictates of a one-size-fits-all State.
When it comes to education, I’m pro-choice. Five states have enacted laws which give parents control over the funding received for their children’s education. I support the Nevada program, called the “Educational Choice Scholarship Program”. Signed into law in 2015 (and challenged in court by the usual suspects), the program provides that education funds will be allocated on a per-student basis and will be deposited into an education savings account where parents can then use that money toward expenses approved by the state’s treasurer’s office, such as tuition, textbooks, tutors, test fees, transportation, and therapy for students with special needs. Money left unspent rolls over and can even be saved to pay for college tuition. This type of program would go a long way toward getting our kids out of underperforming schools.
I was a tax attorney for almost 40 years, and if there’s one thing those years of experience taught me, it’s that the graduated income tax proposed by J.B. Pritzker will not work. Middle class taxpayers shouldn’t be fooled. He’s coming after you.
Do we need tax reform? Absolutely. But this isn’t the way to do it. We need a global review of our entire tax structure with an eye toward creating a tax system that moves in the direction of our economy, which requires us to look at not only income taxes, but all sources of revenue: sales taxes, motor fuel taxes, user fees and property taxes. That doesn’t mean raising rates across the board, but looking at changing the mix, broadening bases and thus encouraging economic development, which is the real solution to our problem.
Property taxes in McHenry County are among the highest in the nation, and nothing will be done about that until the state begins to pay its constitutionally required share of school costs.