EFFINGHAM — State Sen. Mike Frerichs says he wants to use the State Treasurer’s office as a mechanism to generate more funding for public education.
While Frerichs, D-Champaign, said the office cannot directly contribute funding to public schools, he said the treasurer’s office can stimulate small business and entrepreneurship so that more revenue can be raised — revenue that he said can then be funneled into the public education system.
“Investing in our children’s education will generate the most long-term returns,” he said.
Frerichs, a Democrat who is running against Republican state Rep. Tom Cross for the job being vacated by Republican Dan Rutherford, was in Effingham recently for gatherings at the Two-21 Restaurant & Pub downtown and the Effingham Knights of Columbus Building. He plans to make stops in Springfield and Chicago Friday. But the Gifford native said he plans to represent the entire state, despite the strength of his party being concentrated in the Chicago area.
“Being from central Illinois, I have noticed we don’t always have the representation that Chicago does,” he said. “I am someone, however, who wants to represent the entire state.”
Frerichs said his first task as treasurer would be to order an audit for the office in the wake of alleged scandals during the Rutherford administration.
“I want to remove the politics from the office,” he said. “Once I have done that, I want to look at investments that pay good dividends.”
Frerichs, who was Champaign County Auditor before being elected to the General Assembly, said he is the only candidate in the race with a background in government finance.
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