Judge Ann Callis is running for Congress because Washington has become dysfunctional. On important issues to our region like jobs, education, Social Security and Medicare, partisanship outweighs common sense. A proven reformer, Judge Callis saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars by streamlining the judiciary budget while working with community leaders across our region to create a foreclosure mediation program and the first Veterans Court in Illinois to improve services. In the courtroom, Judge Callis didn't ask if the people who came before her were Democrats or Republicans. She had a job to do -- making fair and impartial decisions based on the evidence presented. That’s how she’ll approach her job in Congress.
Ann Callis believes that Washington needs to find ways to cut the deficit responsibly – not on the backs of middle-class families, and not while providing massive tax cuts for millionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas. In order to help businesses grow and create jobs, we need to get our fiscal house in order and give breaks to small businesses that create jobs here at home. We must also not make dangerous cuts to Social Security, Medicare, education or other programs that are vital to the middle class.
Medicare and Social Security
Ann Callis opposes any changes to Medicare and Social Security that affect current or future beneficiaries. Generations of workers have paid into the system and earned their benefits, and they deserve what they've been promised. Proposals to privatize Social Security and turn Medicare into a voucher program are reckless and Ann Callis will oppose any efforts to jeopardize either program. Instead, she supports efforts to crack down on fraud, waste and abuse to find efficiencies that will save money.
Jobs and the Economy
Judge Callis believes Washington’s top priority must be to create good jobs that will keep our middle class strong. Congress should be working to create an environment where small businesses can grow and thrive, not making ill conceived cuts that hamper our fragile economic recovery. From the Mississippi to Decatur to Champaign, we need to do more to support our colleges and universities that can be job incubators and link labor with local business leaders to identify critical skill-set needed to help re-train workers for the local jobs of the future.
Fighting for the Middle Class
When Washington bailed out the big banks they didn't do enough to help middle-class families who were struggling. As a Judge, Callis created a foreclosure mediation program to help keep homeowners in their homes. As a Congresswoman, Ann Callis will work with the district’s numerous manufacturers to see how tax credits and other incentives can help keep this critical part of our state’s economy growing. Rebuilding our local infrastructure and re-training those who are actively looking for work are vital steps toward keeping the middle class secure.
Ann Callis was proud to send both of her children to public schools because she believes in good public education. Now her daughter is studying to become a middle school teacher. We need to do more to support the colleges in our area and make sure that college loans remain affordable for working families. Ann Callis will fight to end cuts to early childhood and public education so every child has a strong start and access to good schools, and she’ll work to bring local businesses, labor and community colleges together to strengthen and increase apprenticeship programs so we’re training students for good-paying local jobs.
Washington needs to do a better job to helping veterans re-integrate into the workforce and address the backlog at the VA. As Chief Judge of Madison County, Judge Callis established the first Veterans’ Court in Illinois, aimed at reducing veteran recidivism and successfully helping returning veterans reintegrate into society. The program received national recognition from the Foundation for Improvement of Justice. In Congress, Ann Callis will work to make sure those resources are available and affordable for all returning veterans who have honorably served our country.
Middle-class families want health care solutions that lower cost and expand care, not more partisan politics. Ann Callis believes we need reforms that fix and improve the Affordable Care Act, not kneejerk partisanship that doesn’t solve problems. She’ll work to preserve sections of the law that ensure no one can ever be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, keep the cost of prescription drugs low and that children can remain on their parents’ coverage until the age of 26.
Our region can be a leader for the nation and the world in the production of plant-based bio-fuels. Our colleges and universities are the home of some excellent research institutions that continue to develop new technologies and methods to use crops and plant waste to create fuel. But Washington is making it harder by reducing the amount of teaching staff in public schools and universities as well as directly reducing the amount of grants available to researchers. Judge Callis believes in making investments in our “brain” infrastructure and harnessing wind, solar and other resources to grow a local alternative energy economy that can’t be outsourced.
Campaign Finance Reform
Special interests have too much influence over Congress. Whether it's the economy, taxes, or energy, corporate campaign donors dominate Congress' decisions. Recent Supreme Court rulings have made the system even more lopsided. That's why Ann Callis supports common-sense campaign finance reform that gives regular Americans a stronger voice in government. Instead of focusing on raising money, campaigns should be about public service and helping people. If elected, Ann Callis will support measures like the Government by the People Act to reduce the special interest influence in campaigns and return to a government of, by and for the people.
Ann knows our immigration system is broken and once again Washington has failed to address a critical issue. Ann supports a comprehensive immigration policy that secures the border, ensures those who broke the law pay a penalty, and brings millions of people out of the shadows. Ann has traveled the district and talked to immigrant families, community leaders, and business owners who all agree that passing immigration reform should be a priority for our country. In Congress, Ann would proudly support the bi-partisan Immigration Bill that passed the Senate, which includes all provisions of the DREAM Act. Ann believes that young people who were brought to America as children, grew up in our communities and stayed out of trouble deserve the opportunity to earn a pathway to citizenship through college or military service.
Ann Callis is pro-choice and believes women deserve to be in full control of personal health care decisions. She will protect women's access to lifesaving preventative care like mammograms and ovarian cancer screenings. She believes that insurance companies should provide coverage for contraception and that women should have access to emergency contraception. In Congress, Ann Callis will push back against radical voices that invent misleading facts in order to restrict women’s health care options.
Ann Callis is a strong believer in our Second Amendment right to bear arms and comes from a family of gun owners. However, as a judge she has seen firsthand what happens when criminals and the mentally ill get their hands on guns. Like Senator Kirk, Ann Callis believes we can work together to find ways to improve background checks to keep guns away from dangerous criminals and those who are mentally ill.
From her time on the bench, Judge Callis has a strong record of treating everyone equally with dignity and respect. That is why she supports measures that promote equality—like banning discrimination in employment and housing laws, honoring spousal and marital benefits for our military members, and advocating for anti-bullying policies for our schools. Ann believes all Americans have the right to marry the person they love, regardless of their sexual orientation.
Ann Callis believes Congress should take strong action to support science research. We need to stop our short-sighted budgeting plan that is hurting development in key STEM areas and leading to an innovation deficit---which means lost opportunities in education, discovery and job creation. Private money alone cannot fulfill the need we have for this research—nor should it. In our district, we know that universities are the cornerstone of research advancement. Research in the medical field will enable prevention, lead to cures, and lower future medical costs. Other investments in industries like energy, agriculture, and transportation will spur job creation and business development here at home. By investing in an all-inclusive research policy, our country keeps a strategic advantage and remains a global leader in innovation.