Tony Mayville is one of two Democratic candidates seeking the nomination for the 115th District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives.
He was born in East St. Louis and has lived in Washington County for the past 30 years.
Mayville worked as an underground coal miner for 28 years and was appointed director of mine safety and enforcement for the state of Illinois in March of 2003.
In January of 2004, the governor’s office appointed Mayville director of Land Management in the Illinois Department of Natural Resources where he worked for seven years.
In February of 2012, he became the director of Mines and Minerals at IDNR. Shortly after, he was appointed to a post in the U.S. Department of Labor as deputy assistant secretary over policy in the Mine Safety and Health Administration where he handled a budget of over $330 million.
Mayville said he has very set views on energy. He said the state needs oil and natural gas, but has reservations about fracking.
“If it’s causing earthquakes in other states, maybe we should slow down a little bit and look at this and give it a little time to study,” he said. “Is it worth the risk we’re taking to get this extra oil and extra natural gas? If it’s not that dangerous, then it’s a great thing.”
He said nuclear energy is also dangerous and coal is the safest option.
“We’ve got all this coal underneath us and that would create good jobs. You know for years, that’s helped carry our part of the state,” he said.
Mayville said he supports the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana use. He said law enforcement dollars should be redirected and used to focus on harder drugs that damage society.
“I think we tend to waste too much of our policing dollars on worrying about people with marijuana, and there’s so many people around the country dying of heroin overdose right now,” he said.
Small business/workers’ compensation
Mayville is in favor of workers compensation, but said there must be more effort to deter false claims. He said false claims hurt the whole system, but if a worker is actually injured on the job, they should receive workers compensation.
Monetary Award Program grants
Mayville said the state needs to allocate more money for MAP Grants, and cutting back on school funding is not smart. He said the government must find a fair and equitable way to finance education.
He said the wealthier school districts receive a much larger amount of funding, putting poorer students at a disadvantage.
“Those kids all come out of school and they all face each other off at jobs,” he said. “It’s kind of like we’re treating some of them a little unfair, in my opinion.”
Affordable Care Act
Mayville does not like rollout of the ACA and said it makes him nervous. He said the government could have executed several aspects differently.
“If I were to write a law about insurance, I don’t know that I would have had the insurance companies sitting there helping write the law,” he said. “I don’t know that that’s the kind of thing where the fox gets to guard the henhouse or exactly what happened there.”
Mayville said the state should change the way it collects income tax.
“If everybody paid their fair share, then everybody’s taxes might not be as much as right now,” he said. “But too many people have loopholes and ways to get around paying the taxes that they owe. I think the whole thing needs a good revamp.”
Mayville said, like other states, Illinois should put a percentage tax on every ton of coal mined.
Illinois budget issues
Mayville said the budget is common sense, and needs to be better managed.
“I think good budgeting is very important in state government, there’s never enough dollars to go around. You really have to budget what you have and make it last,” he said.
Mayville said the government should not have run the pension bill without negotiating with the union first.
“I’m not a union member but I want people at the table that are going to stick up for the union workers and for the pension holders, and that didn’t happen,” he said. “By rewriting this pension bill and not having the union sitting at the table, you’ve split the phase for quite the bargaining, in my opinion.”