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Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is our guest for a program-length newsmaker interview on this week's WSIU InFocus. The Chenoa Republican talks with host Jak Tichenor about the state's ongoing financial crises and his opposition to continued borrowing to fund state operations. Rutherford believes the state does need to reduce state spending to bring the budget under control, but criticized Democratic Governor Pat Quinn's recent call to close seven state facilities and lay off 1,900 state workers to close a $313-million shortfall in the current state budget because of the severe impact the cuts would have on affected communities. The Treasurer believes the state's top priority should be reducing the state's massive unfunded pension liability and is calling for current employees to pay more into the system before retirement.
Rutherford also discussed his office's Cash Dash program to help Illinois residents reclaim funds and other assets that have been placed in the state's care. The Treasurer's Unclaimed Property Division has $1.5 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois bank safety deposit boxes that have been abandoned for at least five years.
Rutherford was elected Treasurer in November 2010 after serving as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003 and in the Illinois Senate from 2003 to 2011.
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