Illinois United States Representative District 17 Candidate: Eric Sorensen
(KWQC) - TV6 reached out to candidates with a list of questions to help voters make an informed decision in the Nov. 8 elections.
These are the full, unedited responses from the candidates. TV6 will post the answers on the Decision 2022 page.
TV6 does not endorse any candidates. We will continue to add more candidates’ answers as we receive them.
Eric Sorensen, 46, Moline, Illinois
What are your top three priorities if elected?
- Addressing rising costs: I believe that this is the most important issue facing our communities today. It’s a deeply personal issue; it impacts you, your neighbors, and your family – just like it does for me too. This cannot be a political football being thrown back and forth: we need real, bipartisan efforts to address rising food prices, health care costs, prescription drug costs, and gas prices. There’s no silver bullet to immediately bring down costs, but we need our federal government taking steps to lowering costs, like year-round E15 and allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies.
- Securing reproductive rights: I am a strong supporter of women’s reproductive rights and I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Everyone should have access to high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion. We should be lowering barriers to health care, not raising them, and yes reproductive care is health care. I believe that reproductive care decisions should be made between a woman and her health care professional – not partisan politicians.
- Creating sustainable jobs: I am committed to making sure that we’re creating good-paying, sustainable jobs in Central and Northwest Illinois. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to live and work in my hometown of Rockford, and I want others to have that opportunity as well. I believe it is our responsibility to support future generations of Illinoisans by creating economic opportunities in our communities.
Do you support providing student loan debt relief? Why or why not?
The cost of higher education is too high. We need to be lowering barriers for individuals to obtain higher education, without the lifelong burden of crippling debt. But we also need to promote other opportunities, like trade schools and apprenticeship programs. It is my goal to make sure that we are increasing opportunities so that our Central and Northwest Illinois students have the tools and resources they need to be successful.
How do you plan to address housing access and affordability?
The answer to addressing housing is that we need to build more houses. This starts with getting inflation under control. Unfortunately, there are too many politicians in Washington more beholden to drug companies than their constituents. We know that one of the major drivers of higher inflation is out of control spending on prescription drugs.
How high of a priority should global warming be? What will you do to help address the climate crisis?
In Congress, one of my priorities will be to increase good-paying, sustainable jobs here in IL-17. These aren’t just jobs that will exist for a few years, but will last for the decades to come. We want to make our region viable for future generations, and that means we need both the jobs for today and the jobs for the future. And that means taking advantage of our rapidly changing energy infrastructure. As electrical vehicle infrastructure increases, we want to make sure that we are part of the supply chain for the future.
Do you approve of the current state position on abortion rights? What changes to abortion rights should be made?
Our country should always be moving towards protecting more rights, not taking rights away. I am deeply troubled by the Court’s current assault on rights and I plan to halt it in its tracks. I will vote to codify reproductive rights into federal law and no longer gamble fundamental rights on the shifting whims of the Supreme Court.
What should be done to combat inflation?
I plan to tackle inflation at its root. The government’s overspending is running counter to all other efforts to combat inflation. I plan to unleash the great purchasing power of the federal government to negotiate down drug prices. Everyone knows we pay way more for prescriptions in this country than anyone else. It is time for that to change.
Do you support raising the minimum wage?
Absolutely, with costs rising it is past time for us to give workers a raise to help families get by.
What role do you think the government should have in establishing workplace policies like paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, and minimum wage?
While we have many great businesses that take care of their employees, we should not allow anyone to be at the mercy of an abusive employer. I support protections for workers so that we make clear the expectation that they get fair wages, and safe conditions.
There is increasing scrutiny toward law enforcement nationally, statewide, and locally. Do you feel that the scrutiny is justified?
Watching the news, it’s clear to see how hard it is to be an officer today. These brave men and women answer our calls every time we ask for help. Now it’s our time to help restore the dignity of their profession through funding their salaries, training, and equipment to a level equal to the tasks being assigned to them.
Being trusted to help keep our communities safe has been the greatest reward of my career. However, I know all too well that in addition to gratitude and a sense of pride, those keeping us safe need a fair wage and a properly funded department. That is while I applaud the House for passing legislation to give law enforcement more funding.
What do you believe to be the #1 public safety issue in Iowa/Illinois today?
The #1 public safety issue in Illinois, and the country, is the soaring costs of life saving medication. I will never forget sitting with a man who told me about paying more for insulin than rent each month. While politicians line their pockets with contributions from drug companies, real people are suffering. There is no reason other than greed that would stop us from fixing this immediately and I plan to start working on it from day one.
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