4th District Illinois House candidates press their agendas
Candidates for the 4th District House seat in the March 20 Illinois primary election share a progressive outlook. But the four women had time to spell out their differences during a Feb. 21 forum at Rowe Middle School, 1420 W. Augusta Blvd.
Here's the "too long, didn't watch" guide to how Iris Millan, Alyx Pattison, Delia Ramirez and Anne Shaw responded to questions from East Village Association members and an overflow audience of about 125.Top priority
Millan and Pattison put revenue first, largely from a progressive income tax that would require amending the state constitution. Ramirez and Shaw stress the need to raise school subsidies.
All back proposals to bridge the state's revenue shortfall:
- Ramirez: a "LaSalle Street tax" on financial transactions, plus taxes on marijuana and services.
- Pattison: higher corporate income taxes, taxes on marijuana and carried interest, and an end to incentives for corporate relocations.
- Millan: taxes on services and marijuana.
- Shaw: a state income tax deduction; an end to tax breaks for ethanol, machinery and certain health-care nonprofits.
Pattison would restrict gun ownership based on mental-health issues. Millan would ban semi-automatic rifles. Shaw would beef up enforcement of gun crimes. Ramirez backs gun-licensing and mental-health bills.Medicaid
The candidates back health-care funding. Ramirez would ban pay-for-delay drug deals and expand state-negotiated discounts.Campaign finance reform
Money in politics displeases Ramirez. Shaw claims independent funding and notes the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform contribution tally at illinoissunshine.org. Pattison runs a lean campaign and suggests that voters resist big-money politics with their own campaign donations. Millan would cap corporate contributions.Mike Madigan
Millan hopes for a challenger to the longtime House majority leader. Pattison would give leaders term limits and organize a progressive caucus. Ramirez would strengthen caucuses for women and Latinos. Shaw believes in standing up to the powerful.Q&A
A question on accountability prompted candidates to call out a negative "Social Justice Fund" mailer. Candidates support union organizing at charter schools, and were stumped by a question about legal sports gambling. One questioner noted that a progressive income tax would take three years or more to enact. A $15-an-hour minimum wage drew broad support. Pressed about her funding from builders, Millan defended development as a way to raise the tax base.
The general counsel of Project Six, Michael Grand, opened the forum by noting challenges to government accountability.
A March 12 candidates' meet-and-greet, sponsored by EVA and other community groups, features candidates in several races. The event starts at 6:30pm at Roots Handmade Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave.