Hammond and Curtis share views on improving Illinois in candidate’s forum

Democrat John Curtis and Republican Norine Hammond participated in a forum last night, sharing their views on why they should be elected State Representative for Illinois’ 93rd District.

Hammond said workman’s comp needs badly changed, saying currently there is no proof needed that an injury took place at work.

Curtis voiced support for raising the minimum wage although he said $15 an hour would be hard on small businesses.

He said that companies like Wal-Mart and Amazon should have a $15 minimum wage.

Hammond said you must look at the big picture to address “inequities” across the board.

“If you raise it to $15, then what do you do about the person that’s making $15 now and upwards in that?” Hammond said. “So what you enter into is a trickle up.”

In growing jobs, Hammond pointed to Galesburg businesses in fields like welding and advanced manufacturing that are in need of skilled employees.

She says investment needs to continue to be made towards vocational and technical training, which lead to good paying jobs.

When it comes to political redistricting Curtis says a third party commission needs to do the job.

Hammond agreed as much, saying current districts are currently “absurd”.

She says in Iowa they use computer software to get fair districts and said Illinois should do the same.

Curtis made clear his support of a progressive income tax, saying that the 32% increase passed with the most recent budget affecting society’s most vulnerable citizens, with Hammond opposed.

When the conversation turned to gun rights, Hammond says Cook County has some of the strictest gun laws in the country but the crime is out of control.

Curtis spoke of the balance between sensible gun laws with the needs of gun owners in rural communities.

“I think everyone in this room would agree that certain people should not have access to guns,” Curtis said. “I’m going to be somebody that’s going to be working very closely with our law enforcement people who are on the front lines dealing with armed people in an armed conflict.”

Renewable energy has a lot of promise for the area according to Curtis, talking about wind farms in McDonough County and the revenue it’s brought to local government.

Hammond was a little more tepid in her embrace of renewable energy saying we can take ideas from other countries but we should make them “our own”

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