Geneva attorney and House hopeful wavers on Rauner support after abortion controversy
While Dan Ugaste still agrees with Gov. Bruce Rauner on many things, the two are worlds apart on social issues.
“I’m still in agreement with the governor on fiscal issues, making Illinois a more business-friendly state and lowering taxes,” Ugaste, who recently launched his Republican campaign to replace retiring Rep. Steven Andersson (R-Geneva) in the 65th District, told the Macon Reporter.
Ugaste's problem with Rauner was evidenced when the governor signed House Bill 40 into law. The measure requires Medicaid and state insurance to cover abortion in all cases until the last day of pregnancy.
“I’m not a fan of spending money we don’t have, especially on something I’m ethically opposed to,” Ugaste said.
While some Republicans have pulled their support for Rauner's re-election bid over the abortion controversy, Ugaste said he is not at that point.
“I still haven’t developed an opinion on that,” he said. “Up until now, my understanding had been that he planned to veto the bill, so there are still a lot of different factors we don’t know as it pertains to what may have gone into his decision.”
Before the new law took effect, Medicaid recipients were eligible for abortions only in cases of rape, incest, and when the health and life of the mother was at risk.
Illinois Right to Life Life estimates the change to the law will cost taxpayers $1.8 million in additional abortion funding.
Rauner’s decision came after he campaigned as a candidate on a platform of having “no social agenda.” On Sept. 28 he became the first governor to require taxpayers to pay for abortions.
“I’m not happy about it, that much is for sure,” Ugaste said.
A longtime Geneva-based attorney, Ugaste also ran in 2014, collecting one-third of the vote in a three-way primary to finish a close second to Andersson. He said he was moved to wage his latest campaign after state lawmakers enacted a new $36.1 billion state budget that carries a 32 percent state income tax hike.
The 65th District includes parts of Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Pingree Grove, Gilberts, Wayne, Elgin, South Elgin, Hampshire and Huntley