The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

October 24, 2010

Politicians battle for state seat

DANVILLE — It’s a face-off in the 52nd Senate District between a Democratic incumbent who wants to fix the state deficit and a Republican challenger whose platform calls for an increase in jobs in the state.

Current State Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, is running for his second term in the Illinois Senate against Republican challenger Al Reynolds of Danville. Frerichs was first elected to the seat in 2007.

There’s no one solution to the $13 billion deficit the state if facing right now, according to Frerichs, who contends a combined effort over several years will work to solve the problem.

“You don’t have to balance the books in a year,” he said. “A big part of this $13 billion deficit is $6 billion in unpaid bills. That balance grew over several years, so we can begin to pay that down over several years. But you’ve got to begin paying that down next year. You can’t wait and let it grow any further.”

With the remaining $7 billion, Frerichs said a combination of cuts and revenue increases can help eliminate the problem. He pointed to a need to examine the state’s tax structure and look at a creating a tax on a number of services.

“It’s is not an unusual concept,” he said. “Of the five states that border us, every state taxes some services. Illinois taxes no services.”

Frerichs dismissed the argument that service taxes could hurt the state’s economy.

“There are some things that we can tax that I don’t think will be detrimental to our economy because neighboring states do that as well,” he said.

For Reynolds — a first-time political candidate — the focus rests on the creation of jobs in the state. His opinion is Illinois doesn’t have enough jobs that are generating income that produce revenue.

He stressed the need to bring more white-collar job opportunities to downstate Illinois, given the educated work force provided by resources such as Danville Area Community College and the University of Illinois.

“You ask anybody out there. We have people who were white collar and now they’re flipping burgers,” he said. “What that tells me is, if the white collar work force is now flipping burgers, what are the people that would normally flip burgers doing? Nothing. There are no jobs out there.”

The establishment of more jobs is part of his strategy to improving the state’s deficit situation.

“That is the key to this thing, the key to bringing the revenues we need,” he said.

Reynolds added an audit should be done to give officials ideas on where cuts can be made to save the state money.

“Let’s look at everything before we say just tax anything. Let’s find where we can make all the cuts,” he said, noting that the deficit could be taken care of in five years.

Republican party leaders in Vermilion and Champaign counties issued calls for Reynolds to withdraw from the race after comments he made during a candidate forum on Wednesday.

The comments were labeled as a “gross generalization” regarding black men and selling drugs.

Reynolds has not responded to calls to his home and e-mails concerning the official status of his campaign.

The Illinois 52nd Senate District follows the same boundaries to the north, south and east that the 104th Representative District follows, enveloping the eastern half of Champaign County and all but the northern quarter of Vermilion County.

The 52nd Senate District also includes the city of Urbana and all but the southwest corner of the city of Champaign.

Neither candidate is a proponent of sweeping cuts across the board to save state funds. Reynolds said he believes K-12 grade education is key to providing the job influx the state needs.

Where the cuts could occur is at the higher education level.

“With administrative people and their salaries, I really think we’re top heavy,” he said. “If I want to make cuts, it would be at the administrative level.”

He contends the elimination of one high-level salaried administrator could allow for keeping more teachers on the payroll.

“And what would I rather have? Give me those teachers every time,” Reynolds said.

For Frerichs, the quandary stands between being willing to make the cuts but at the same time acting as a good representative for his district.

“The burden has to be shared equally,” he said. “I am willing to consider cuts to social service programs out there. We’ve already seen some of those. As long as they’re being shared equally.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Learn about photos

    July 22, 2014

  • DEATH NOTICES These obituaries were received by 7 p.m. Tuesday: DANVILLE

    July 22, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 22, 2014

  • Covington appreciates volunteer work

    City council members heard thanks Monday from street superintendent Rick Smith to Jared Brothers and the Stringtown Church of God youth group. The youth group has been helping the city street department for several summers with various odd jobs.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fire Reports Firefighters responded to the following calls: Friday, 11:18-11:42 a.m. — A broken sprinkler head at 75 Walz Creek.Friday, 12:23-12:38 p.m. — A natural gas leak at 13 S. Kansas St.Friday, 1:18-1:30 p.m. — A trash can on fire at 21 N. Vermilion S

    July 22, 2014

  • Police Reports Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleTuesday:Criminal trespassing in the 1600 block of Redden Court.Wednesday:Theft in the 1300 block of Lape.Thursday:Theft in the 600 block of South Bowman Avenue.Friday:Illegal consumption in the 100 block

    July 22, 2014

  • NWS-CN 07-22 Medal photo Afghan vet earns Medal of Honor WASHINGTON — Bleeding from both legs and his arm, Ryan Pitts kept firing at about 200 Taliban fighters in June 2008, even holding onto his grenades an extra moment to ensure the enemy couldn’t heave them back.On Monday, President Barack Obama draped

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-CN 07-22 Musical photo Musical takes serious tone For those who are inspired by classic tales such as “The Little Mermaid” and “My Love, My Love,” DLO Musical Theater’s summer youth musical is a must see.About 30 cast members ages 8 and up will perform “Once On this Island Jr.” at 7 p.m. Friday and

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-CN 07-22 Stanis photo Vermilion County Museum Society honors longtime quilter WESTVILLE – Victorena Stanis, 90, of Westville could tell a story behind every quilt she’s made over the years, starting in 1935. She knows where the fabric came from, and how she came up with designs.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire destroys barn used for storing hay SIDELL — A fire Saturday night destroyed a hay barn at Crosswinds Equine Rescue, 8182 E 200 North Road, near Sidell, but owner Mike Cross is thankful that no person or horse was injured in the blaze.Four fire departments — Sidell, Indianola, Allerton

    July 22, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open
Must Read