3 years ago by Bob Gough
Sullivan says Democrats and Republicans are both to blame while Frese says Democrats have been in charge for a decade
State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and his challenger Republican Randy Frese of Paloma spent their time at the Adams County League of Women Voters candidates forum driving home points about the problems in state government.
Sullivan touted infrastructure improvements that he said he helped bring to West Central Illinois. He said both Republicans and Democrats were responsible for the massive deficits facing the state.
Frese countered that the Democrats have been in charge for the last 10 years and have made no progress in solving those problems. Sullivan said the state had begun to make progress and it would take more bi-partisan cooperation to get it done. He said the Legislature hs put $30 billion back into the pension funds over the last 10 years.
Sullivan said he wanted to utilize gaming expansion to fund education. Frese didn't support that, saying that was supposed to be what the lottery was for.
The men difference on borrowing to pay the state's backlog of bills. Sullivan has pushed borrowing, but Frese said the state can't do it unless there is a concrete plan to pay the money back. Sullivan said it would be paid back in three years.
Sullivan also said he did not vote for the 67 percent tax increase the state passed and he said he supported letting it sunset. Frese said Sulivan has supported other tax increases and he also hoped for the tax increase to sunset.
Frese said he supported pay freezes and term limits while Sullivan said elections serve as term limits. Sullivan said he has voted to cut his pay while Frese said Sullivan pay has increased exponentially over the last 10 years. Sullivan said Frese didn't turn down any pay increases as Adams County Circuit Clerk and Frese said while he accepted those increases, his office had been under budget six of the last seven years.
Frese said his business background would help him put together business-friendly incentives as a senator. He said the state has lost thousands of jobs and mentioned a fertilizer plant that opened in Southeast Iowa because Iowa offered better incentives.
Sullivan said Illinois offered no incentives and Iowa spent $1.5 million per job created.
Both men talked about supporting second amendment rights and while Sullivan touted his NRA endorsement, Frese said Illinois will never have concealed carry as long as Democrat John Cullerton is in charge of the Senate, Democrat Mike Madigan is in charge of the House and Democrat Pat Quinn is governor.