68th District candidates debate hot button issues for Stateline residents

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The race for the 68th District seat is between Incumbent Republican Rep. John Cabello and challenger Democrat Dave Vella.

We sat down with both candidates to get their take on hot button issues affecting Stateline residents.

Since 2012, the 68th District seat has been held by Rep. John Cabello, a Harlem High School graduate and Rockford detective. His challenger, also familiar with the Stateline, a graduate of Boylan and a longtime attorney in the Rockford area–Dave Vella looks to take over.

As the region and the state continue to see spikes in the virus, both candidates agree more has to be done to rescue small businesses struggling to stay open–but they differ on what’s being done in Springfield to bring down numbers.

“The governor took our prisoners and put them in some of the Finest hotels in Chicago. Well, maybe we should have done that to our elderly. Where we separated them a little further instead of keeping them in these Petri dishes that they live in now. We might not have had this big problem. When you have the kind of recovery rate of what we have here, It doesn’t make sense that the cure is worse than the virus,” Rep. Cabello said.

“There was a time that Rockford had a strong coalition… and could go to the governor or go to whoever and say look, “We are Rockford. We are not a suburb or not downstate. You need to treat us differently because of x, y and z. And I think if there is someone down there who isn’t just stirring up the pot, somebody that will actually work with them, I think we can get a lot done. and open up our businesses more safely,” argued Vella.

Unemployment numbers in the district continue to stay above the national average. Each candidate signaled our property taxes as a burden on the region.

“I mean that’s the reason people are fleeing Rockford is the skyrocketing property taxes. The second thing we need to do is we need to assist our schools and start a new early childhood education program. If we start educating all children the way they should be educated and spend the money how we should be spending it, I think that will help immensely,” argued Rep. Cabello.

“Other states do not pay for their schools through their property taxes, they pay for it through their state budget- the way we should we be doing it. We should be decoupling property taxes from our school’s budget and make sure the budget is there. That will cut our property taxes in half,” said Vella.

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