Running for: IL House District 63
Political party affiliation: Republican
Political/civic background: Incumbent Representative
Occupation: Tax Attorney (Retired)
Education: University of Illinois (B.S. Accountancy, 1975) and University of Georgia (J.D, Masters of Accountancy, 1980)
Campaign website: ILikeReick.com
Facebook: Steve Reick
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent nominees for the Illinois House of Representatives a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois and their districts. Steve Reick submitted the following responses:
1. The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered the finances of Illinois. The state is staring at a $6.2 billion budget shortfall in this fiscal year. What should be done? Please be specific.
I would like to have seen more of an effort to cut costs before borrowing money. Businesses and households throughout the State were tightening their belts, but State government didn’t do its part. Other states didn’t hesitate to trim payroll, why couldn’t we? At least the level of borrowing would’ve been lower. Going forward, Illinois is going to have to trim a lot out of future budgets to come up with the money to repay this obligation. I’m ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make those hard choices.
2. What grade — “A” to “F” — would you give Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic? Please explain. What, if anything, should he have done differently?
I’m going to give him a “B-” on the public health part. He was blindsided by the pandemic just as much as we were, and I’m not going to fault him for his initial reaction from a public health perspective. I opposed his plan of putting McHenry County into the same region as Chicago, a decision which was partly rationalized by the fact that METRA comes out here, but when ridership fell by 95%, that excuse fell flat. Also, he sent mixed signals, as did so many others, by giving the protests a pass on his public health orders and holding public events at churches and daycare centers immediately after attending rallies. He should’ve self-quarantined until he found out he’d tested negative, which took almost a week.
On the economic side, I’m giving him a “D”. There was no rational reason why big box stores were allowed to stay open while Main Street establishments were forced to close. If, God forbid, we see a resurgence of the disease, I hope he’ll have learned that small businesses can work within safe guidelines just as the big boxes did and thus have a fighting chance of staying in business. His attempt to assess criminal penalties against business owners in May was a fiasco both from a policy and a political perspective. As a member of JCAR, I was taken totally by surprise by those rules, and we had little choice but to file a motion to suspend. I didn’t support the new rules just issued because statutory law should