Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of articles about races in the Aurora area during the June 28 primary election.
The Republican primary race for Rep in Illinois House District 66 is between Arin Thrower and Connie Cain.
Suzanne M. Ness is unopposed in the district’s Democratic primary.
The primary election is set for June 28.
Cain, 61, of Gilberts, said the district’s issues include property taxes, parental rights and crime.
“The overall tax burden is high. I think property taxes are a big issue for two reasons – because they’re high, people pay a big bill, and the second is that it affects the appreciation of our home,” Cain said. “We have something like the fifth lowest home appreciation rate in the country and that’s because of our high property taxes.”
Parents’ rights, Cain said, “have been walked all over, including an end to parental notification of abortion.”
“The program in schools should also be transparent so that parents know what is going on and there should be a way to object to it if they think something is wrong,” she said. declared. “There should be feedback in the system.”
If elected, Cain said she wants to work on pension issues and streamlining government.
“We need constitutional pension reform because it’s at the heart of most of Illinois’ problems,” she said. “We have huge inherited retirement debt, low housing appreciation, property taxes, people being squeezed out of benefits, and high in-state tuition. Property taxes are causing out-migration and municipalities are struggling to pay their pension costs while paying benefits.
We have too many units of government, Cain argues, “and they must be integrated in order to make government more efficient.”
The number of school districts should be reduced, Cain said, while leaving schools open.
“We can integrate those costs – we don’t have to close schools,” she said. “The only concern is the high administrative costs.”
Thrower, 47, from West Dundee, said issues in the district include the economy, growing crime in the suburbs and the education system.
“First and foremost, the economy is on everyone’s mind and the rising costs of everything have really created a challenge for families,” Thrower said. “Right now it’s the gas pump, but for many years the problem has been property taxes. We know they raise enough money in Springfield, it’s just how it’s spent.
Crime is another issue, Thrower said, noting that there was “a shooting at a fitness center here in West Dundee a few blocks from our largest residential area.”
“People are worried about it,” she said.
School boards will come under scrutiny next spring, Thrower said, adding that area residents feel “their parental rights have been taken away from them.”
If elected, Thrower said she wants to eliminate wasteful state spending.
“We must restore the balance of our state. There are a lot of independent and moderate people who feel like they’re not represented,” she said. “We have to bring back common sense.”
Eliminating wasteful spending from government budgets — not just at the state level — and ensuring accountability and transparency at all levels of government is another goal, Thrower said, along with “looking at all the different levels of government and see if they are really necessary. .”
“I think there could be savings, even at a small level, if we were to reduce some of these levels of government,” she said.
David Sharos is a freelance journalist for The Beacon-News.