* From a press release…
This week, members of the Illinois Education Association, the state’s largest education employee union with over 130,000 members across Illinois will join Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) at four stops throughout Illinois and announce their endorsement of Frerichs for state Treasurer. […]
IEA President Cinda Klickna said, “As state senator, Mike Frerichs has been a strong and consistent proponent for eliminating the significant and unfair disparities in state funding for school districts. We are excited about his candidacy and look forward to working with him as Treasurer.”
* The Ilinois GOP responds…
“Tax Hike Mike” Frerichs is touring the state this week to tout a recent endorsement. But like Gov. Quinn, his failures and broken promises on education don’t stand up to scrutiny.
Three questions for “Tax Hike Mike”:
Frerichs says school funding in Illinois is “horribly unfair” and where you were born determines the quality of education (WGN-AM, 7/13/14). So why did Frerichs (D-Champaign) vote for $35 million in pork spending for a new school in Speaker Mike Madigan’s district, while taxpayers in downstate school districts face property tax hikes to build their schools?
During Frerichs’ tenure in the senate, education funding has been cut, teachers have been laid off, and class sizes have gotten bigger. That’s despite a massive 67 percent income tax hike – supported by Frerichs and signed by Gov. Quinn, and a 23% increase in state revenue over Frerichs’ tenure. Why did Sen. Frerichs prioritize tax hikes over education funding?
Frerichs is the Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee and claims to have “worked to reduce the costs and barriers of attending college in Illinois.” But tuition at the University of Illinois has risen 40 percent during Frerichs’ tenure, and Illinois ranks 46th in public higher education affordability. As Chairman of the Higher Education Committee, can Senator Frerichs explain why tuition has increased while state support has decreased?
“Both Frerichs and Gov. Quinn promised to make education a priority, but both broke that promise with funding cuts and a failure to support teachers, students, and families alike,” said Tim Schneider, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. “We’ve tried the Quinn/Frerichs plan, and we’ve seen the results for Illinois. It’s time for a new direction.”
* In other news…
Democratic state treasurer candidate Mike Frerichs says he thinks lawmakers should “go back to the drawing board” and start over on changes to public employee pension benefits following a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling.
Frerichs, a state senator from Champaign, said the court’s 6-1 ruling this month saying state-subsidized health care benefits were guaranteed under the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution made it highly likely that justices would find unconstitutional a law approved by lawmakers and signed by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in December.
“I think in their opinion on health care, they made it fairly clear what their opinion on the state constitution is and how they’re going to rule on it,” Frerichs said Sunday about the public employee pension law on the “Sunday Spin” radio program on WGN 720-AM.
“We’ll wait and see what the Supreme Court rules, but I think it’s good to have a backup in place and to start working (on a backup plan) because I think it’s pretty clear we’re going to have to do that,” Frerichs said. “I think it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board.”