The next state treasurer, says State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego), must step up his game and be more aggressive, especially in getting the legislature to pass a balanced budget. “If that means, ultimately, after working with the General Assembly,” says Cross, “they disregard the Constitution, if that means we have to go to court to enforce it, we’re going to do that. The General Assembly needs to be held accountable.”
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Cross is careful to boost his own candidacy, criticize his opponent, and respect the incumbent, all at once. Accepting an endorsement from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Cross is running against State Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) for the job being vacated by Dan Rutherford, a Republican who lost a bid for governor in the March primary.
Chamber president Todd Maisch says Cross’ views on taxation – particularly the income tax rate and whether Illinois should have a progressive tax – are what separates him from Frerichs. When asked about balancing revenues and expenses, Cross’ answer is to get unemployment down.
Responding to the announcement, a Frerichs statement points out Cross has enjoyed thousands of dollars’ worth of lobbyist-paid meals and adds the meals were probably prepared and served by people making a minimum wage – a wage Cross has voted not to raise but which is a flashpoint of the 2014 campaign.