Bad policies on the state and federal level have caused consumer costs to skyrocket and led to the highest inflation in forty years. Grocery price increases are the highest they have been since 1979, and this summer’s electricity bills for consumers increased the most since 1981. 

Illinois received billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief and rather than permanently reducing Illinois massive tax burden for our residents the governor and Democratic majority went on a spending spree. 

It is time for a new direction. As a small business owner, I understand and have dealt personally with many of the government hurdles that hold entrepreneurs in Illinois back.

The mismanagement of our state budget, over-regulation of business, and public corruption are directly connected to the difficulty that we have in competing for quality, high-paying jobs to our communities. 

To boost our competitiveness, we must reduce the tax burden on families and businesses. I will support policies to: 

  • Lower the cost of workers compensation insurance to levels comparable to our neighboring states.
  • Provide direct assistance to businesses disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and consult with experts to find out how best we can curb job losses through legislative reform. 
  • Roll back the massive restrictions on Illinois’ energy sector that passed in the last few years to save jobs and reduce our rising cost of gasoline, natural gas, and electricity. 

If elected, I will bring a conservative spending approach to the district and support legislation to reduce the cost of living based on trusted economic principles. I will be the voice for businesses and working people throughout our district, rather than just another vote for Illinois’ tax-and-spend political games. 


As a mother of three children currently enrolled in our public schools, I understand how important they are to preparing the next generation for the many challenges they will face. I strongly support our public schools and our teachers. I also believe deeply that schools should be governed first foremost by local school boards that are accountable to parents, students, and voters in their communities. The state has adopted a heavy-handed approach to dictating the kinds of lessons our children are learning, These curricula now include lesson plans that fly in the face of parental rights and expose young children to age-inappropriate content.

We must keep politics out of the classroom, improve access to trade schools and skilled apprenticeships, give power back to parents and local school boards, and expand tax-credit scholarship programs to benefit students from low-income families. I believe in diversifying the kinds of educational opportunities that our children and young adults have access to, which includes expanding the existing tax-credit scholarship program to students across the state. It is important that the state to take action to ensure parents and students are able to make decisions about their learning that are right for them.


In 2016 I was extremely frustrated with our high property tax burden that were stifling families in our district. Instead of complaining I did something about it and entered politics to help lead a successful initiative to lower property taxes in Madison County. I am proud that as a member of the County Board I have continued to vote to lower taxes without reducing services. Unfortunately, state government has not followed suit.

Illinois currently has the highest tax rate in the nation, including the second-highest real-estate tax and second-highest gasoline tax. The current tax-and-spend administration legislative majority refuse to make any meaningful tax reform. In fact, they are actually making our taxes worse. The average Illinois family now pays over $2,000 more per year in taxes this year, thanks to more than 20 tax and fee hikes since Gov. Pritzker took office.

I will support policies to:

  • Freeze, cap and outright reduce property taxes to bring immediate relief to Illinois families. 
  • Fight against amending our constitution to allow for a progressive income tax that would allow politicians to move brackets up and down any time they need to fill their coffers. 
  • Oppose any tax on Illinois retirement such as has been suggested by Treasurer Frerichs. 
  • Freeze motor fuel taxes until gas prices reach recent year averages. 
  • Continue to support the Lock Box Amendment and similar legislation that requires that money collected from transportation taxes goes to support our infrastructure.

I fought to lower taxes on the county board and I will do the same for the rest of the state in Springfield. 


Illinois is accurately known throughout America as an epicenter for crime and corruption. While corruption cases have been declining nationally – here in Illinois we continue to be the outlier with a staggering number of corruption indictments from public officials throughout Illinois and right here in the Metro East over the last two years

Legislators, including sitting members of the Illinois State Senate, are still allowed to serve and get paid by the people of Illinois, even under criminal charges and indictments directly related to their positions. 

This is inherently wrong and I will support full ethics reform to hold legislators accountable to the people and laws they are sworn to defend.

I will support policies to:

  • Extend the amount of time legislators must wait before becoming lobbyists when they leave public office. 
  • Enact term limits for leadership to reduce consolidation of power and opportunities for corruption.
  • Change committee rules to give rank-and-file members that change to move legislation.
  • Enact comprehensive ethics reform that gives more power to the Legislative Inspector General to independently investigate legislators.
  • Give wiretapping authority to investigate local government corruption rather than for the feds to come in 
  • Allow Illinoisans to more easily recall politicians who have broken the public’s trust. 


I have stood against corruption on the Madison County Board and I will work to enact policies that will help prevent and better punish it in Springfield. 


Crime has skyrocketed in Illinois and around the nation in recent years. Instead of tackling it head on, politicians in Springfield passed massive anti-police legislation that was opposed by nearly every law enforcement organization in the state because for its threat to public safety. Among other controversial provisions, it eliminates cash bail, providing that criminal suspects will be detained before trial only in narrow circumstances. 

The 700+ page legislation was passed in the middle of the night in last year’s Lame Duck Session with little public input or debate. This is the exact wrong approach I would take laws that affect everyone in our community. 

I will listen to the experts and work for solutions that make it easier, rather than more difficult, to protect our communities. 

I will support policies to:

  • Pass legislation to reallocate funding to our police officers that was lost in the criminal justice overhaul.
  • Support programs to incentivize hiring such as possible college education for family of police officers etc. 
  • Secure funding for training our officers to ‘harden’ schools and prevent tragedies like Uvalde. 
  • Address the staffing crisis by encouraging veteran and special trade recruitment. 
  • Increase penalties for illegal gun trafficking. 

I will support the police with policies, not just words and stand up for those who protect and serve our community. 

Second Amendment

I support and will vote to uphold the fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms enshrined in our federal and state constitutions. Anti-gunIllinois laws punish lawful gun-owners with a broken FOID card application process while doing little to curtail the use of unregistered firearms, or stolen, firearms in the commission of crimes.


I will vote against taxpayer funded abortions and work to ensure parental notification is restored in Illinois. I know life and our values are precious.

Erica Conway Harriss Illinois State Senate 56th district Issues