State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-24th, Westmont) has filed nominating petitions to be included on the ballot for the March 20 primary election. Senate candidates were required to file at least 1,000 signatures from qualified voters; Dillard filed 3,000 signatures.
“I am pleased by the overwhelming support I received from over 100 volunteer supporters who helped me gather petition signatures, and I am further humbled and pleased that I was able to obtain many more than enough signatures to submit the maximum 3,000,” Dillard said. “The outpouring of support and enthusiasm from the people we talked with while gathering signatures was heartening.”
An analysis of the petitions shows every community within Senate District 24 provided signatures.
“The people in Elmhurst, Lombard, Oak Brook and Glen Ellyn were especially responsive to our petition drive,” Dillard said.
Due to redistricting, these communities have been added to the 24th District.
“A vast majority of our 3,000 signatures came from this newly added area,” said Dillard, a Hinsdale resident. “I am excited to represent these areas as their new state senator.”
Dillard is familiar with the newly added area. In Elmhurst, for example, he worked with local officials to obtain funds to improve North Avenue and St. Charles Road, assisted with the purchase of for Elmhurst flood abatement and helped obtain renovation money for .
Dillard said he wants to block Gov. Pat Quinn from borrowing more money, roll back the income tax hike, abolish the controversial legislative scholarship program and reform the public pension system. He said he will create a "destination economy" for businesses and a "best in class" education system.
Dillard Sponsors Medicaid Reform Bill
As part of his efforts to save the state money, Dillard sponsored legislation passed by the General Assembly Tuesday that is an extension of the state’s ongoing Medicaid reform efforts. The legislation gives the Department of Healthcare and Family Services resources most often seen in the private sector to administer the state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid is the state’s largest expenditure at $15 billion annually.
Senate Bill 1762 allows HFS to hire 20 employees with specific knowledge in the areas of healthcare administration, healthcare finance and healthcare data analytics or information technology. This could include personnel with a background in medical, dental and pharmaceutical services, to those with experience in data analytics or highly complicated Internet technology and computer systems.
“This bill helps cut down on Medicaid fraud, holds down costs through better analysis and will improve patient care," Dillard said. "Expending resources up front to hire qualified personnel will help the state lower program costs and attract private sector experience to state business."
Up to 10 percent of the state’s Medicaid expenses can be attributed to waste and fraud, Dillard said. In Illinois, that could be as much as $1.5 billion a year.
“The bottom line is, I want the state to verify income before people get on—or stay on—welfare," he said. "We need to kick non-eligible people off the welfare rolls.”
HFS Director Julie Hamos testified before lawmakers in support of the legislation, saying the state needs to find very qualified people with a specialized skill set to manage the state’s $15 billion Medicaid budget. Senate Bill 1762 allows HFS to forego outside contracts and hire full-time employees at less expense to the state.
The bill is on its way to Gov. Quinn for his signature.
Dillard will be running against Elmhurst resident and current 41st District State House Rep. One Democrat, A. Ghani of Oak Brook, also has filed for the primary.The 24th Senate District includes Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Lombard, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Oakbook Terrace, Westmont, Wheaton, Western Springs and Willowbrook.