AURORA, Ill. – Responding to the strong influence in state policy made by people with incredible wealth, state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, introduced a measure this week to allow candidates to accept public funding for elections and to improve the chances that candidates without personal wealth can successfully represent their communities through elected office.
“When the amount of money you have can sway the results of an election, the voices of the wealthy outweigh the voices of regular, working families and that is wrong,” said Chapa LaVia. “Allowing public funding of elections and recycling leftover funds into the system would level the playing field for everyone running for office and help elevate the challenges faced by those who are not wealthy.”
Chapa LaVia’s proposal creates a voluntary system of public campaign funding, with money gathered from state funds, a tax check-off on income tax forms in Illinois, voluntary donations and fines collected. If enacted, this system would allow candidates without personal wealth to participate and to be competitive. Many believe that money gives the wealthy a disproportionately large say in the policies that become law. Chapa LaVia is working to make sure that everyday families and hard-working individuals can serve in these community roles through her introduction of House Bill 676.
“The vision of representative democracy is that our neighbors and co-workers have an equal shot at holding office and the hope of giving voice to the voiceless,” said Chapa LaVia. “We have seen the devastating effects that can occur when a billionaire takes office and pushes an agenda that hurts the poor, disadvantaged and elderly, and we must restore that balance.”
For more information on legislation to remove the influence of money in elections, contact Chapa LaVia’s full-time constituent service office, located at 8 E Galena Blvd., Suite 240 in Aurora IL by calling (630) 264-6855 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.