- Position sought: Illinois State Representative, 98th District
- E-mail address: email@example.com
- Website: www.kalnicky.com; www.facebook.com/bob4house
- Phone: 815-546-4189
- Address: P.O. Box 8411 Romeoville, IL 60446
- Family: Wife, Catherine, and three daughters.
- Education: Bachelor's and master's degrees from Lewis University in Romeoville
- Occupation: Executive director, Community Service Council of Northern Will County.
- Political party: Republican
- Previous elected or appointed offices: Vice president, Fountaindale Library Board; chairman of the Romeoville Area Chamber of Commerce; vice chairman of the DuPage Township Republican Organization
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
As the chairman of the Romeoville Chamber of Commerce, I see firsthand the challenges faced by businesses, large and small. This insight will allow me to propose legislation that will be most effective in fostering a friendly business environment.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
My number 1 priority is repealing the 2011 tax increase. Illinois Policy Institute reports that as a result of this increase, Illinois has lost 60,000 jobs. Illinois families and business are fleeing to states with lower taxes, and Illinois must be able to compete, otherwise we’ll continue to experience economic decline and increased unemployment.
Illinois’ failure to stick to a common-sense budget is destroying our state. The comptroller’s office released a report stating that we have an $8.5 billion backlog, we have the worst credit rating in the country, and the largest state deficit per capita. It’s important that we rein in out-of-control spending and not leave our children with hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities.
In Illinois, our unfunded pension liability and healthcare liability is over $100 billion, and is the worst in the nation. It’s important that we make fundamental changes that are fair regarding pensions, but it’s also important that we follow through on the commitments we made to state workers in providing benefits that they earned. The current system is unsustainable, and changes need to be implemented moving forward that Illinois’ taxpayers can afford.
What sets you apart from the other candidates?
My wide range of experience is something the other candidates cannot match. I have consulted for and worked in Fortune 100 companies. I currently run a small non-profit with a half a million dollar yearly budget. Additionally, I currently hold office as vice president of the Fountaindale Library board. No other candidate in this race has elected board experience.
What should first be done by the state to keep businesses that have strongly voiced the possibility of leaving, such as CME and Sears?
I support the repeal of both the personal and the corporate income tax increase that were passed last year. Some argue that big companies use their political connections to seek tax relief, but I appreciate that these major employers are doing what they can to lower their cost of business. Unfortunately, small businesses don’t typically have these same connections and therefore, are not receiving the same consideration. Illinois needs major employers and the jobs they provide — but we also need to create a business environment where small business can flourish and create jobs as well.
What can be done to help College Illinois?
(No answer given)
What should the government do to create more jobs?
When more people work, more revenue is created. We need to focus on creating jobs and cutting the fat off of frivolous state spending. This will more than make up for any loss of revenue created by repealing last years tax increases. The focus needs to be on the creation of private sector jobs; we need to get the government out of the way.
What are your philosophies on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, and what should government’s role in those issues?
I view marriage between one man and one woman as a unique and ideal situation for a family and should be treated as such. That is why I support the DOMA statute.
I believe that life begins at conception, but am not certain that passing a law that is contradictory to the federal law, Roe v. Wade, would accomplish anything significant. I am a strong supporter of the Parental Notification Law that the Illinois General Assembly passed overwhelmingly in 1995, and would call on Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to begin to enforce this law.
Illinois remains the only state that does not afford its law-abiding citizens the right to carry a weapon. Illinois should follow the example of the other 49 states, pass right to carry legislation and uphold the Second Amendment rights of Illinois residents.
I support reinstating the death penalty, with discretion given to judges, juries and prosecutors.
Do you support a gaming bill that would increase the number of casinos or other gambling venues in Illinois? Should a casino be built in Chicago?
Like other businesses in the state the government should get out of the business of picking winners and losers. If, as a state, we decide we want to have gambling in this state, then let the market decide where those casinos should be and whether or not they are successful.
What do you suggest for property tax relief?
We cannot have any further burdens placed on property taxes like the proposal being considered by many Democrats to push much of the outstanding pension burden for teachers back to local school districts. By some estimates that will raise property taxes across the state by $1 billion annually. The state needs to make some tough decisions and live up to their obligations to fund the outstanding pension liabilities and move to a defined contribution plan going forward.
Should the state consider consolidating school districts? What would be the best way to accomplish this in your legislative district?
This issue needs to be considered on a case by case basis. In cases where there still exists a single school that is its own district in suburban areas, this argument makes sense. A great deal of savings for local taxpayers can be realized in that scenario. I would oppose any plans that would create county wide districts.
Should the state legalize marijuana?
I do not believe marijuana should be legalized.
Are there ways to reform the legislative scholarship program, or would you support calls to eliminate the program?
Legislative scholarships have become nothing more than state-sponsored political favors for the politically connected and this program should be abolished. It highlights one of the fundamental problems in Illinois: there is one set of rules for the politicians and the politically connected and another set of rules for everyone else.
Who are your political heroes and why?
Over the years and looking at current leadership in this country Ronald Reagan grows as a great example of leadership. His ability to bring this country out of the malaise of the late 1970s and usher in an era of prosperity and pride that lasted for 25 years, is truly inspirational. He inspired a generation, including myself, to believe in the greatness of the United States and all that we can accomplish when we let our citizens be free to do as they wish.
Have you ever been convicted of a felony, sued successfully or had a restraining order placed against you? If so, please explain.