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Frerichs to tout new IEA endorsement

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014

* 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.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


32 Comments »
  1. - The Captain - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    These are a little odd right? I’m not sure his critics understand math.

    1) “Why did Sen. Frerichs prioritize tax hikes over education funding?” How do you think education is funded? With money? From taxes? Yes/No/Not Sure

    2) “As Chairman of the Higher Education Committee, can Senator Frerichs explain why tuition has increased while state support has decreased?” If your two sources of funding are a) tuition and b) state support, if one of those sources decreases what will need to happen to the other to maintain the same level? Increase/Decrease/Not Sure


  2. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Captain…

    I would say my district would have liked $35 million from the state for the several schools we have built in the last 10 years.

    Also looking for pure logic in campaign rhetoric is always a challenge.


  3. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Disappointed in the IEA on this one.

    Not surprised, but disappointed.


  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    I’m moved by Rauner and the state GOPs brave stands calling for lower taxes and increased education funding.

    Where do you submit nominations for the Profiles in Courage Award?


  5. - Easy - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    Frerichs is going to go back to the drawing board on pension reform. haha. I’m not even sure he knows where the building is that has the room that has the drawing board.


  6. - Just Trying to Survive - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Same old stuff. All of them claim to make Education funding a priority but lose their backbone when it comes to asking for the money to do so. How does everyone think this stuff gets paid for? Everyone thinks Education is of utmost importance. They just want it all for free.


  7. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:21 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,”

    Good. It’s time to be proactive about the problem, for a change. The likely pension ruling will hopefully point the way to legal reform plans.


  8. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Might be better to not make any campaign stops (let alone 4), offer him their support, but not make a huge public deal about it. It could potentially firm up his opposition more than add anyone. There’s a different wind blowing, but vanity remains….vanity.


  9. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    Cross’ campaign can come up with better responses to Frerichs than these from ILGOP. Maybe they should just let Cross respond and stay out of it.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    Weak justification for backing Frerichs. Weak and tired response by ILGOP, considering the math if lowering taxes and increase Ed funding seems …not to work…mathematically.

    This race will be the closest of all the Statewides. This development doesn’t change that fact at all.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    ===Might be better to not make any campaign stops (let alone 4), offer him their support, but not make a huge public deal about it. It could potentially firm up his opposition more than add anyone.===

    Unions are going to rally. Thinking that cowering in a corner us how Unions got their leverage and power is pretty ignorant to the Labor movement.

    But, I guess if the goal is to break Unions, of course you suggest cowering and hiding to make Unions look weak.


  12. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    “why tuition has increased while state support has decreased?” “I’ve cut your salary three times and you still keep borrowing more! What’s wrong with you?” Sheesh. Is it over yet?


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    An interesting excerpt on the different choices states make from today’s NWI Times

    == In 2013, Illinois spent $932.47 per person more than Indiana, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. At the same time, Indiana spent more than twice as much from its general fund on education than Illinois.

    Illinois lawmakers this year approved a $1.1 billion “mini” capital spending program for road and bridge construction throughout the state. It follows a $31 billion construction spending plan approved in 2009. Meanwhile, Hoosier legislators have resisted borrowing money to fund state construction programs and this year paid cash for new university buildings and some road projects. ==


  14. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    ===Unions are going to rally. Thinking that cowering in a corner us how Unions got their leverage and power is pretty ignorant to the Labor movement.

    But, I guess if the goal is to break Unions, of course you suggest cowering and hiding to make Unions look weak.===

    Hardly cowering and hiding Willie. Worse than looking weak, they could look greedy and angry. That’s the real issue here. They’re not the most popular cats at the moment. The voters in the middle are being charged with arbitrating this one. Anger and vitriol is off-putting to them. We’ll see. I’d thank them for their support and laud they’ve joined a host of others in his effort to become Treasurer. No more, no less and certainly no tour.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    ===We’ll see. I’d thank them for their support and laud they’ve joined a host of others in his effort to become Treasurer. No more, no less and certainly no tour.===

    Cowardice.

    That is a Rauner trait. “Don’t upset anyone. Don’t stand up for anything. If it polls better, continue. If it starts to poll different, change your position.”

    Having no spine is not leadership. I can’t believe Sen. Mike Frerichs has more of a spine than Rauner. Seeing how Rauner hammered Unions, now can’t deny that quick enough is a good example of the cowardice.

    - A Guy … -, you advocate taking the support of a 130,000 member Union as passive, as not to upset others. Pathetically sad that being scared is how you show real leadership.


  16. - InsideOutsider - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    Let’s see how he answers to the cost shift of pensions to the school districts. That’s a non-starter. Doesn’t push educational reform, doesn’t support paying the constitutional dollars and IEA endorses? IEA needs a head check. What is it you people stand for anyway?


  17. - OLK 73 - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    What happened to the movement to merge this office with Controller? That’s the only question that needs to be asked. Totally useless use of tax dollars.


  18. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    Tuition started to skyrocket when the state tried to “save” money on health insurance. Up to that point, the state had an appropriation for ALL state employees health insurance, including the employees of the state universities. Blagojevich then removed them from the state budget, and the universities had to raise tuition to cover the cost. After that, year after year, the state had paid less and less of the universities overall budgets, causing tuition to keep going up.
    I doubt if any state treasurer can really change much of anything. They have a narrowly defined set of duties and don’t really have any say about paying or not paying legitimate state bills.


  19. - DateNight - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Teachers stand tall for Mike Frerichs and against Tom Cross? Big endorsment for Frerichs. Money, troops and organization never hurt a candidate win.


  20. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    == Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    - A Guy … -, you advocate taking the support of a 130,000 member Union as passive, as not to upset others. Pathetically sad that being scared is how you show real leadership.===

    Would need to do the math to see if this move would rub a million people the wrong way. Or a half million. Or 200K for that matter. If you’ve been on a porch lately talking to anyone, they’d pound into your brain that property taxes are killing them. They attribute it to the cost of their school districts; specifically pensions. That’s just what they’re saying bub. Listen or not. I could care less. The IEA needs a huge PR campaign. They are not popular right now.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    “Would need to do the math to see how a banner that says Rauner would veto SSM would rub a million people the wrong way. Or a half million. Or 200K for that matter. If you’ve been talking to anyone, they’d pound into your brain that Rauner being wishy-washy is starting to catch up to him. They attribute it to the fact he lives one way, speaks another and rarely has one position on anything; specifically a fiscal plan. That’s just what they’re saying bub. Listen or not. I could care less. The voters needs a huge education campaign. They are not informed right now.”

    Better.


  22. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    A Guy, The Man of the People has spoken.

    How many people do you speak for on any given day, A Guy? Or do you just write your opinion and claim it represents The People?

    Among The People, is IEA less popular than, as you explained once, Jim Edgar was in DuPage County as an officeholder? According to you, The People there didn’t like him, even when he was rolling up vote totals higher than Reagan.


  23. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    guy, bottom line is, is a statewide candidate better off or worse off with IEA in their corner? You argue potentially worse. I don’t think so. I think Tom would have welcomed the endorsement (and should have gotten it to my way of thinking), and you are looking for some way to spin the result. More power to you, but the main shortcoming will be that the huge majority of IEA’s money and efforts will go to the gov’s race, not down-ticket.


  24. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    Ah Slinger, after the first sentence I was about to thank you…and then…

    I do have access to a fair amount of data which represents a lot of “the people”. This can confirm what I’m hearing myself. I’m an active precinct captain, so it’s not as if I’m only talking to a handful of neighbors at a BBQ.

    I don’t deny for a second that Edgar captured a lot of votes in DuPage. May I ask who else they would have gone to back in those days of our county being overwhelmingly Republican? That didn’t make him a terribly popular guy in the county. DuPage was never thrilled with the notion of a “Downstate” Governor. Of course they voted for him instead of the Democratic choices. He wasn’t a favorite. Compared to what we’ve seen since? Yeah. Loved? Not ever.


  25. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:17 pm:

    BTW. DuPage will come out strong for Rauner and for Tom Cross. It won’t be because they love them.


  26. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    === steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    guy, bottom line is, is a statewide candidate better off or worse off with IEA in their corner? You argue potentially worse. I don’t think so. I think Tom would have welcomed the endorsement (and should have gotten it to my way of thinking), and you are looking for some way to spin the result. More power to you, but the main shortcoming will be that the huge majority of IEA’s money and efforts will go to the gov’s race, not down-ticket.====

    S Schnorf, let’s accept your argument at face value. Assuming Tom Cross got the endorsement, Would he have handled it like JBT or Frierichs?

    I’m not in the business of turning down endorsements (with very few crazy exceptions).


  27. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:22 pm:

    Dupage, losing the insurance cash from the State was a small piece of the overall problem. Besides, the acceleration in tuition rates was well underway when that move was made. I believe COGFA did a report on this not too long ago. You might want to check it out.
    Whatever the causes, just read a survey showing UIUC as the 8th most expensive public university nationally.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    Perspective?

    ===- wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 2:11 pm: ===

    Well done…From that comment in its entirety;

    === –Bulletin to all of you Jim Edgar admirers: He was never very popular in Chicago or the Suburbs. Never.–=

    What a strange thing to say. You need to take a nap or a pill or something.

    Edgar was the last Republican statewide candidate to win 50% of the vote in Cook County. 52% of the vote in 1994.

    Also, Edgar vote in 1994:

    DuPage: 79%

    Kane: 75%

    Lake: 74%

    McHenry: 76%

    Seems kind of popular.

    http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/ ===


  29. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    –That didn’t make him a terribly popular guy in the county. DuPage was never thrilled with the notion of a “Downstate” Governor.–

    Speaking for all of DuPage, do you think that explains why Northeast Illinois guys Baer and Roeser put up such big numbers against Edgar in the primaries?

    Some days you just spin yourself silly.


  30. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    There you have it Willie. The name “James” became very popular during that time for new born babies too.
    He was the GOP nominee for Governor in the most GOP county in the state. He had a fighting chance. lol


  31. - A guy... - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:33 pm:

    ===Speaking for all of DuPage, do you think that explains why Northeast Illinois guys Baer and Roeser put up such big numbers against Edgar in the primaries?===

    You really seriously asking this? Baer and Roeser?


  32. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 15, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Enough already. Move along.


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