WMBD 31 New is your local election headquarters. Leading up to Election Day, we're finding out where local candidates stand on the issues. In the 18th District Congressional Race, Incumbent Republican Aaaron Schock is being challenged by Democrat Steve Waterworth. Tonight we're asking the candidates a question regarding our state's economy. We've all heard about Illinois' dire financial situation. We're asking what they think has contributed to the state's current fiscal situation and what they would do to help with the state's recovery.
"The state of Illinois under Rod Blagojevich when I was in Springfield, 3 years in a row took a billion dollars out of the downstate teacher's pension system and used it for day to day operating expenses. Clearly that made the unfunded iability in the pension system worse. And so you gotta fix pensions and you can't continue to expand programs like medicaid when the state is going broke. Mitch Daniels the governor of Indiana says it real simple, the reason Indiana is in the black and Illinois is in the red is because Indiana doesn't spend more than it brings in. And it's really that simple in your life, in my life, in our own budget we have to leave within our means and it's time that Illinois does the same."
"What I think is unusual about the Illinois economy is that it is as strong as it is. While many folks are saying it's so bad, I'm saying how can it be as good as it is! And one of the reasons why it is, is because in the last ten years after George Ryan left office and the democrats took over and laid off like 20,000 state workers, that hurts our local economy. Those are folks that are either retired or they've lost their jobs, that hurts our local economy. But you just cannot lose your wealth like that out of state."