Position sought: 24th State Senate District
Political party: Republican
E-mail address: Kirk_Dillard@att.net
Address: 837 S. Westmore Av. Suite A-4B, Lombard, IL 60148
Campaign committee: Citizens for Kirk Dillard
Family: Wife, Stephanie; two daughters, ages 10 and 8
Education: Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Economics from Western Illinois University; Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law.
Occupation: Attorney and partner with Chicago-based law firm Locke Lord
Previous Elected or Appointed Offices: I am the current State Senator from Illinois District 24. I served with distinction as Chief of Staff to former Governor Jim Edgar where we left $1.5 billion in the State Treasury, all without a tax increase, and had our bond rating increased because we paid our bills so quickly. I was also a Judge on the Illinois Court of Claims.
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
I have extensive private-sector experience in addition to my public service. I have worked with small businesses and manufacturers especially in the area of job creation and taxation issues in my private sector work.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
Make Illinois a “Destination Economy” for job creators (Fiscal Stability / Pension Reform / Ethics Reform). Suburban Interests. When Sen. John Millner endorsed me, he said, "Kirk Dillard is DuPage County's voice in Springfield." Whether it is protecting raids of suburbanites money from the Tollway and METRA, or fighting for suburban school funding which holds property taxes down, I fight for area taxpayers and their families.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
Results. Unlike my opponent, I have a proven ability to build cross-party coalitions without sacrificing my core Republican values. I have the demonstrated ability to sponsor and pass significant legislation, and the gravitas and stature to stop the Quinn's/Madigan's lock on Springfield. I have the maturity, temperament and demeanor to represent our values, and those of our families. I have never voted for a general tax increase.
What should first be done by the state to keep businesses that have strongly voiced the possibility of leaving, such as CME and Sears?
The State needs to have a comprehensive overhaul of its tax structure. We need to lower the cost of doing business and cut regulatory red tape. We would not need incentives if we had the proper business climate. We need to focus on small, medium and family-owned businesses, not just the big guys. Please go to www.kdillard.com and click on the "30 Tips" to see my complete plan to make Illinois a "Destination Economy" for job creators.
What can be done to help College Illinois?
First, my daughters are in the College Illinois program. The program has been suspended, but the state must live up to its contractual and moral obligations to the parents, students and grandparents. The state should adequately fund higher education so that the massive tuition increases thrust upon college families would not so significantly raise the cost of College Illinois (i.e. hold tuition down). Fortunately, Illinois has the "Bright Start" program for tax-free college savings.
What should the government do to create more jobs?
My goal is to encourage job growth by developing an efficient, transparent and ethical state government with less regulation and lower taxes. I was the author of the 2011 Senate Republican "Jobs Recovery Plan to Transform Illinois into a Destination Economy" available on my web site www.kdillard.com which can be obtained by clicking the green and yellow icon that shows "30 Tips"
What are your philosophies on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, and what should government’s role in those issues?
I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman.
I believe that life begins at conception. I am the ONLY endorsed candidate in this race by both of the State's pro-life groups and Family Pac which is the leading pro-family political organization in the State.
Do you support a gaming bill that would increase the number of casinos or other gambling venues in Illinois? Should a casino be built in Chicago?
No. I am the Chief Sponsor of a bill that bans video gambling. I do not support the expansion of gaming in Illinois. However, as a matter of fairness, if the rest of Illinois has the ability to have casinos or riverboats, Mayor Emanuel, if he thinks it proper, should have that ability, too. I do agree with Governor Quinn, Gaming Chairman Jaffe, and the BGA and/or the Chicago Crime Commission that the regulatory scheme must be thorough and tough! I also support measures which will continue to assist the agricultural family farm side of horse racing.
What do you suggest for property tax relief?
As Gov. Edgar's Chief of Staff, working with former Sen. Dan Cronin as its Sponsor, we passed the property tax cap bill, which eliminated the annual double-digit property tax increases that were being experienced by DuPage County taxpayers. Unlike my opponent, I vote for measures which will lower the burden on property tax payers by looking for less burdensome forms of taxation and as an effective legislator bringing back monies from Springfield for school construction, infrastructure projects, etc. that hold down local property taxes. Lowering property taxes is a paramount concern to me! I find it astonishing that when the value of homes drop, local government's property tax levies rise!
Should the state consider consolidating school districts? What would be the best way to accomplish this in your legislative district?
The administrative overlap of 870 separate school districts is highly inefficient. Aswith the elimination of the ROE superintendents, planning is critical. You can incentivize the consolidation by offering a big stick to consolidate or as long as we make sure that student performance does not suffer. But I have learned in my time in state government that this is an emotional issue, and must be accompanied with incentives and suitable penalties. The savings should be returned to the classroom or taxpayers.
Should the state legalize marijuana?
No. The State Police and drug and alcohol rehabilitation experts are vehemently opposed to the idea.
Are there ways to reform the legislative scholarship program, or would you support calls to eliminate the program?
Abolish this program. I have pushed this issue farther than any other legislator to the brink of passage. Last Fall, Gov. Quinn, at my urging, and with the help of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board used my legislation to put abolishment of this controversial dinosaur of a program before the General Assembly for one final vote on passage. Sadly, Speaker Madigan refused to call the bill for its final lethal injection. Rep. Sandra Pihos, Senate Republican Leader Radogno and I have reintroduced legislation to abolish this program, and I am confident it will pass this year.
Who are your political heroes and why?
Abraham Lincoln and Governor Richard Oglesby (who is my wife's great-great grandfather) who coined the term "Railsplitter" and nominated Lincoln for President, and oversaw the construction of Lincoln's Tomb.
Each was an orphan, and self-taught man, who rose up and saved our nation. Gov. Oglesby, during the Civil War, was wounded and lived the remainder of his life, including his three terms as Governor, with a musket ball embedded in his chest.
Both Lincoln and Oglesby were founders of the Republican Party. These were remarkable self-made men who overcame overwhelming obstacles.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony, sued successfully or had a restraining order placed against you? If so, please explain.
To see Patch's 24th District race page, click here.