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Daniel Ugaste

Demographics

Republican

Geneva

Attorney, Nyhan, Bambrick, Kinzie & Lowry – Law Firm

Married, Denise

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On The Record

Why are you running to represent the 65th Representative District?

I have always been involved in my community, even while growing up, and in college before my wife and I moved to Geneva. I have been a coach, a volunteer firefighter, helped with the various church activities and was a member of the PTO in addition to engaging in all the various activities and teams my daughters joined. I see the position of State Representative as another community service; it just carries quite a bit more responsibility and a greater commitment. I want to use a lifetime of personal and professional experience to bring a conservative viewpoint to lawmaking and policy making in Springfield, Illinois. I see our state headed down the wrong path, too much debt, crushing taxes, and a terrible economy – I am running to fix these problems and so many more.

Illinois faces a $100 billion unfunded pension liability, and in December the state legislature passed a bill to address the issue. What are your views on the passed pension reform measures? And what else – if anything – needs to be done to address this issue?

I think the bill that passed isn’t going to solve the entire problem, but it was the first step in the right direction and it needed to happen before our state credit rating dropped any farther. To continue to do nothing with no reforms to the pension system in 2013 would only have served to do more harm to Illinois’ economy and increased the state debt. Further reform is definitely needed, such as capping the total pension amount paid out to one person from one or several pension funds – we need to explore all options to further address this pension issue. The biggest problem is that the state legislature is going to have to be fiscally responsible moving forward, and it has failed to do so in the past. There are still going to be hard decisions to make and a payment schedule to keep. I will never vote to skip a payment and will vote to make the state abide by all the terms of the pension reform.

Would you allow the "temporary" state income tax increase to drop down to 3.75 percent in 2015? Explain your answer.

Yes. The ever-increasing tax and fee burden on Illinois businesses and individuals is driving businesses and people out of Illinois. The total tax burden (income tax, sales tax, excise tax, property tax, estate tax) in Illinois is one of the highest in the nation. The taxes and fees in Illinois have been increasing while incomes in Illinois remain flat, or in many cases, are declining. This is creating enormous hardship for businesses and individuals. Every business that closes or leaves creates a ripple effect because the revenue that had been collected by state now has to be collected from whatever businesses and individuals that remain.

Where do you stand on proposed plans for a progressive income tax in Illinois?

I am against ANY progressive or graduated income tax in any form. The key to attracting and keeping businesses in Illinois is to levy just enough taxes, restrictions and regulatory oversight to fund and protect the interests of the people – and then just leave them alone. In a free market, they will sink or swim on their own. If you ask any business owner whether he would rather have the government help them or just leave them alone, the answer is invariably “just leave us alone”. Business leaders have absolutely no confidence in the ability of Illinois leadership to pro-actively improve the business climate.

If elected, what transportation projects in the 65th Representative District would be a priority for you?

We need to focus on providing money to villages and towns to rebuild their streets. We need a third track along the Metra UP West line. Additional bridges over the Fox River. Overall the State needs to take a much longer term look at our infrastructure, as it seems that those in the majority party see more projects go to their districts, politics has no place in how we fund our infrastructure improvements.

Besides pension reform and taxes, what one or two other issues or projects would be most important for you, if elected?

My top priority is getting the state’s checkbook back in balance so we can pay our bills on time, reduce our debt and lower our debt service payments so we can follow in the footsteps of many of our Midwestern neighbors and have a state budget surplus. I want to work on reforming Illinois workers compensation laws so that they are fair to both business owners and workers. This one-sided system is causing business owners thinking of locating or expanding in Illinois to explore states with pro-business laws and tax policies, and better weather. It means fewer businesses, less jobs and less tax revenue for the state in general. Reforming the workers compensation system is a top priority, as it will mean more jobs and a growing economy.

How are you different from your primary opponents in this race?

My opponent is Steve Andersson. He seems like a very nice man, but his personal philosophy has caused him to support the recent legislative efforts to enact the redefinition of marriage in Illinois and to support President Obama’s effort to create a tax on the wealthy in the form of an enhanced graduated income tax. I opposed both of these laws and in general have a very conservative view of government, both fiscally and socially, which reflect the views of the majority of the people in this State Representative district. I think the polar opposite legislative stances Mr. Andersson and I have on issues like these give voters a good insight into the kind of legislator both of us would be. Debbie Miller is a nice woman; it seems we have many differences of opinions.

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