The candidates for state treasurer agree the office should be merged with the office of comptroller, but they still disagree with each other. Combining the two offices would supposedly save $12 million a year. State Rep. Republican Tom Cross (R-Oswego), the Republican nominee for treasurer, says it won’t happen without a strong push. “You can’t be beating around the bush, you can’t nibble around the edges. You have to say this is important and we have to do it, and we’ve been that way and will continue to be that way,” he said.
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State Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign), the Democratic candidate, is also for the idea, but Cross says Frerichs isn’t as willing as he is to expend political capital fighting for it. Frerichs says if it’s done, it must be done properly. “You need to make sure there are internal controls in place. You need to make sure you have proper oversight. But as the only candidate in this race who has experience managing a financial office (he was Champaign County auditor), I say we need to make sure we do it right, and if we do it right, we can have savings, and it’s something I’ll support,” he said.
This would entail a constitutional amendment. The Senate passed a measure to put that on the ballot, with Frerichs voting yes, but it was not considered in the House.