General Election 2016: Jim Oberweis, Candidate for the 25th State Senate District
Oct 25, 2016 09:37PM ● Published by Steven Jack
Employment: Chairman, Oberweis Dairy; State Senator
Family: wife Julie and five children, Jenni, Trish, Jim, Julie and Joe
Education: Marmion Military Academy, B/A University of Illinois (Urbana), and MBA University of Chicago
Previously elected office: State Senate, Republican State Senate Central Committee, and 2014 Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate
Relevant community service: President, the Oberweis Foundation; Board of the Northern Illinois Foodbank; former President of the Illinois Chess Association
What makes you qualified to serve the people of the 25th District?
40 years of entrepreneurial experience, starting businesses from scratch and growing them to reasonable size, creating jobs for thousands of people. A strong understanding of economics and what it takes to control expenses and balance budgets. An ability to “work across the aisle” as I did to pass legislation increasing the speed limit in Illinois to 70 mph after similar legislation proposed by others had been defeated four times.
What are your plans to reach across the aisle in the House to help accomplish things for the people of the 25th District?
See answer above.
What are the 3 biggest problems facing the people of the 25th District, and what do you propose to help fix these problems?
Our lack of a budget and the generally hostile business environment in Illinois are destructive to the future of our great state. We must get to a balanced budget so that everyone knows where the state is going. Current uncertainty makes it difficult to attract entrepreneurs and jobs. Passing the Governor’s reform agenda is critical to the financial survival of Illinois.
Where do you stand on how the state of Illinois should provide education funding for local school districts?
Vision 20/20 has identified the most cost effective ways to improve education in Illinois. Those suggestions should be carefully considered. State aid to education needs to be understandable. A foundation level grant for each student plus an adjustment based on poverty levels plus an adjustment for special needs students makes sense to me. Those criteria and amounts should be known to all. State aid should be increased and our reliance on property taxes decreased.
Do you support term limits?
Absolutely. We must have balance between the two parties to require compromise and cooperation. Veto proof majorities do not produce compromise. I am a very strong supporter of Term Limits. I was the largest volunteer circulator of the term limits petition two years ago. When legislators are term limited, we tend to vote in ways we believe are good for our state and our district. When there are no term limits, legislators tend to vote in ways they believe are good for their own reelection.
Should members of Illinois’ Legislature be paid while there is no state budget? Why or Why not.
Absolutely not. If we are not doing our job to pass a BALANCED budget, we should not be paid at all. In addition, part time legislators should not be entitled to the lucrative state pension system. I have personally declined mine and filed legislation to end defined benefit state pensions for legislators.