General Election 2016: Keith Wheeler, Candidate for the 50th State Rep. District
Oct 25, 2016 10:26PM ● Published by Steven Jack
Name: Keith R. Wheeler
Employment: Owner of Responsive Network Services
Family: Married to Lisa with three children: Matthew, Chad & Ava
Education: BA Degree in Economics from University of Illinois
Previously elected office: Bristol Township Trustee
Relevant community service:
I have served in the following organizations that have worked to improve our community.
- Kendall County Food Pantry Board of Directors - Chairman 2008-2014
- Oswego Bears Youth Football and Cheer Board of Directors - Treasurer 2010-2014, Football Coach 2010-2012
- District 308 Teaching and Learning Committee - Appointed Member 2012-2014
- Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors - Member since 2012, Chairman 2013-2014
What makes you qualified to serve the people of the 50th District?
As a small business owner in Illinois for over twenty years, I’ve seen firsthand how difficult it is to succeed in our state. The politicians in Springfield have put us in a situation where jobs and business are fleeing to our neighboring states. I understand what reforms are necessary to make Illinois more competitive. We need pension reform, tort reform, school funding reform, work comp reform, redistricting reform among others.
What are your plans to reach across the aisle in the House to help accomplish things for the people of the 50th District?
During my first term in Springfield, I have yet to see the legislature pass a budget. I have stood ready to work with my colleagues across the aisle and have found numerous partners ready and willing to negotiate. Unfortunately, Speaker Madigan chose to shut down the negotiating process last April. I remain ready to compromise on a balanced budget, with reforms, to bring about economic prosperity not only for the 50th district but for all of Illinois.
What are the 3 biggest problems facing the people of the 50th District, and what do you propose to help fix these problems?
1. Property taxes: I would like to see a property tax freeze put into place to give home owners a sense of certainty that their tax bill will not increase next year unless voters pass a referendum. It is not right that in many instances the property tax bill is higher than the mortgage payment. We need to enact reforms that will not only freeze property taxes but to ultimately reduce them.
2. Budget Impasse: The lack of a state budget is causing tremendous harm to our seniors, disabled, and most vulnerable. The failure of Speaker Madigan to work across the aisle to solve this problem has caused so much suffering to those who can afford it the least. Our social service providers have done an outstanding job of getting by under dire circumstances. I stand ready to work with democrat legislators to come to a long-term solution that will continue to provide support to those in need.
3. Government Reform:
Everyone understands that our state is broken. Springfield politicians have robbed the pension fund for decades. The unfunded liability in our pension system puts not only the beneficiaries at risk, but also prevent us from providing badly needed services for Illinois. Our legal system is broken. Illinois hands out some of the largest awards that drive up the costs on employers. Our workers’ compensation system is driving business out of Illinois. We have a redistricting system that allows politicians to select their voters instead of voters selecting their politicians. I will fight to bring about reform that will make our state more competitive with our neighbors and end the exodus of jobs and opportunities leaving our state.
Where do you stand on how the state of Illinois should provide education funding for local school districts?
Nearly every legislator I’ve spoken to understands that the current system is unsustainable. The current system is extremely complicated and unbalanced. I am still searching for a solution to this problem and look forward to working with members of both parties to address the inequities that currently exist.
Do you support term limits?
Should members of Illinois’ Legislature be paid while there is no state budget? Why or Why not.
No. Legislators have a constitutional obligation to pass a balanced budget every fiscal year. The people of Illinois elected us to do a job. If we do not fulfill our obligation, we should not be paid. No budget, No pay!