In a LIVE Facebook video on March 20, Sen Dan Biss (D) announced he is a candidate for governor in 2018. Biss, who has a PhD in mathematics, and was an instructor at the University of Chicago, served in the Illinois House for one term before being elected to the Senate in November 2012.
On its face, Biss faces an uphill battle to win the Democratic nomination, in terms of his lack of financial support against the money and name recognition of a Chris Kennedy — son of Robert Kennedy — or the millions that J.B. Pritzker, the unannounced Chicago billionaire, can bring to a race. Pritzker announced last week he had formed an exploratory committee, and placed $200,000 in the fund himself — An amount that he could seemingly do every week if he wished.
In his 30 minute Facebook video, in which he responded to several questions posed by viewers, Biss said he was running because of the damage being done to Illinois by the budget standoff, telling viewers that “We not only have a unique crisis, we have a unique opportunity.”
Biss noted he first ran for office without the support of the Democratic machine, but won due to the support of average citizens. He laid the case, that even though he recognizes he is not in a position to compete on fundraising, he argued that the support of average citizens, who want to take Illinois “back from the billionaires” and fix a system that is rigged in their favor, is a winning strategy.
One of the key policy positions Biss will push, is to end the state’s flat tax on income, where everyone pays the same percent of their income, now 3.75%. Biss would seek a constitutional amendment to move Illinois to a progressive income tax, like we have at the federal level, where higher income individuals are taxed at a higher rate.
BISS ON CHANGING THE TAX SYSTEM
Critics of the progressive income tax, argue that this would drive even more businesses to leave Illinois. And they say, with a flat tax, higher income earners already pay more than lower income earners, that only the RATE of taxation is the same, but not the taxes paid.
The Illinois Primary election one year away, as it will be held on March 20, 2018.