Candidates for state treasurer are at odds over how to assure that Illinois has a balanced budget. State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego), the former House minority leader, is one of the candidates in the Republican primary. He’s a former assistant state’s attorney in Kendall County, and he says he’ll go to court to enforce the constitutional requirement of a balanced budget.
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“If we’re gonna recover (financially), one of the things we have to do is insist on a balanced budget. I think the treasurer has the standing – we’ve done the research – to come in and say, General Assembly, governor, if you don’t balance the budget, I have a responsibility to see that it’s balanced. If we have to go to court, we’re gonna do that,” he said.
His rival, DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan, says Cross must have just come up with this idea. “The Republican Party has controlled the treasurer’s office for 16 of the last 20 years, and he never called on one of them to sue. So if it’s such a brilliant idea, how come he wasn’t calling for people to do that over the last 20 years that he’s been in the legislature,” he said.
Grogan also says going to court might have unintended consequences, like a judge ordering a tax increase. He says the best thing to do is to sound the alarm on accounting gimmicks, and urge the public to “un-elect people who don’t do their jobs,” he said.
The winner of the Republican primary for state treasurer will face State Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) in November. The sitting treasurer, Republican Dan Rutherford, is running for governor.