Running for: State Representative of the 56th District
Political party affiliation: Republican
Political/civic background: Former President of Schaumburg Athletic Association and League Commissioner with 33 years involvement in non-paid positions. Schaumburg Jaycees, coach, Miss America Pageant system, Sister Cities host family, District 54 Citizens Advisory, Elgin O’Hare Citizens Advisory Council, Young Sportsman’s Soccer League Vice President, Illinois Youth Soccer Referee Instructor and Assessor
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Education: College, Military
Campaign website: KegariseforIllinois.com
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. Scott Kegarise 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.
The impact of the shutdown has crippled our state’s already unstable economy. Jobs have been lost, businesses have been shuttered or closed, and there has been little to no help from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The Governor should work with the legislature, with business and community leaders, and find solutions independent of partisanship. We need to be focused on the things we can do to help keep our family, friends, and neighbors safe and prosperous.
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?
The COVID-19 pandemic is something none of us have experienced before, and without that experience to fall back on it is no surprise there have been problems. While I believe the Governor was initially sincere in his actions to protect our state, he has been unwilling or unable to adapt to the ever-changing situation. I am disappointed by the inability of the IDES system which has let down the 1 million Illinois citizens who lost employment. Many more lives have been impacted economically than by the actual disease and its equally important to find ways to recover. Such solutions come from cooperation, not executive orders or unilateral decisions.
3. In the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, legislatures in some states have taken up the issue of police reform. Should Illinois do the same? If so, what would that look like?
We need to invest more into our police departments and into our policemen and policewomen. We must equip these first responders with the tools to handle situations without bias while providing the public increased accountability. It is important to think of public safety not just as policing, but an investment in community service. Continued police training and education, a refocus on community involvement, and the use of body cameras will help increase trust and accountability between officers and the community.
4. Should the Legislature pass a law requiring all law enforcement officers to wear