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Q&A: State Senate hopefuls Nybo, Reboletti focus on business climate, taxes

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 10:42 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:51 p.m. CDT
Caption
Chris Nybo (left) and Dennis Reboletti, both of Elmhurst, are running of the 24th District state Senate seat vacated by Republican gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard. (Provide photo)

In preparation for the March 18 primary election, Suburban Life Media contacted local candidates to gauge their views on various issues. Below are the responses received from Chris Nybo and Dennis Reboletti, who are running against one another in the Republican race for Illinois Senate District 24.

Chris Nybo

Race: State Senate, 24th District

Age: 36

Residence: Elmhurst

Education: Fenwick High School; Dartmouth College; University of Chicago Law School

Employment: Attorney; former state representative, District 41

Website: chrisnybo.com

Primary opponent: Dennis Reboletti

Why do you think you are suited for this office?What experiences do you have that lend well to serving in this position if elected?When I served one term in the legislature, I developed a reputation for demonstrating political courage on important issues, passing meaningful legislation, and effectively using my private business experience to improve our state’s business climate.

In one term, I passed laws banning Blagojevich-style billboards paid by taxpayers, expanding the availability of life-saving allergy medicine for students in our schools, and boosting our tech start-up climate. At great political risk to myself, I worked from day one to day last on meaningful pension reform and helped pass important reforms to workers’ compensation.

Why are you seeking this office?

Creating jobs and economic opportunity must be our first priority, but Illinois government has created an environment over the past decade that is hostile to business. We must change that.

What are the biggest differences between you and your opponent?

I always opposed property tax increases when I served on the Elmhurst City Council, and I voted to freeze property taxes when property values decline. On the same exact bill, my opponent voted to let property taxes continue to increase, even when our homes lose value, and he always supported property tax when he served on the Elmhurst City Council.

What is the biggest challenge facing Springfield?

Creating jobs and economic opportunity. We must repeal taxes and fees on businesses, roll back new laws and regulations making it costly to do business, and continue workers’ compensation reform.

Do you support the recent state pension reform bill?

Yes. In my one term in the House, I developed a reputation for sticking my neck out and push for action on this important issue. A meaningful pension reform bill was among the first bills I sponsored and I was the first House Republican to support the proposal that became the pension reform bill enacted into law last year.

How would you improve the business climate in Illinois?

We must repeal the income tax increase passed in a lame duck session in 2011. While in office, I sponsored measures to repeal it, and I strenuously oppose making it permanent.

Why should voters vote for you?

Accountability matters. But somehow, somewhere along the way, state government lost its accountability to taxpayers. When I served, I always held myself accountable to the taxpayers, thousands of whom I have actually met at their doors, and that will be my ongoing commitment if I return.

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Dennis Reboletti

Race: State Senate, 24th District

Age: 45

Residence: Elmhurst

Education: Bachelor's from Eastern Illinois University; doctorate of law from Valparaiso University

Current employment: State Representative, 45th District; attorney

Website: dennisreboletti.com

Primary opponent: Chris Nybo

Why do you think you are suited for this office?What experiences do you have that lend well to serving in this position if elected?

It has been an honor to serve the people of DuPage County in the Illinois General Assembly since 2007. My experience as an assistant minority leader and floor leader for the House Republicans has given me a keen insight in working with both parties and chambers. My legal background has helped me to be a resource in shaping public policy in the area of public safety and helping to fight the scourge of heroin.

Why are you seeking this office?

With Sen. [Kirk] Dillard leaving the General Assembly to run for Governor, there will be a void in leadership in the district and in DuPage County.

What do you count as your biggest accomplishment in your current seat?

Last year, I was assigned by my caucus to help negotiate the concealed carry legislation that we needed to pass because of a federal court ruling. We were able to pass the landmark legislation working with both chambers, both parties, the governor and the City of Chicago. I have also passed Andrea's Law, which is the first of its kind in the nation, that tracks murderers that are released from corrections like sex offenders are.

What are the biggest differences between you and your opponent?

The biggest differences are my experience as a leader in our caucus, mybackground as a prosecutor, being a small business person and temperament.

What is the biggest challenge facing Springfield?

The biggest issue is turning the business climate around in the state and turning us into a destination economy. We must reduce the tax burden on our families so that they can invest in their children, not failed government programs.

Do you support the recent state pension reform bill?Yes.

How would you improve the business climate in Illinois?

We need to reduce taxation, litigation and regulation on the job creators in the district and the state. To that end, I have filed a bill to sunset the corporate tax on manufacturers to match policy in Wisconsin where many of our businesses are relocating or contemplating leaving. We need to get back to the basics for the services that the state provides, and not continue to expand programs while the economy retracts.

Why should voters vote for you?

I have a proven track record of getting results for the people I have represented in both the 45th and 46th districts. My experience will allow me to hit the ground running and continue giving the people of the district the type of representation they have come to expect from Sen. Dillard, Rep. [Patti] Bellock and Rep. [Sandra] Pihos. I have been a strong voice for the people I represent and will continue that in the Senate.

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