Friday, October 26, 2012
Republicans warn of “January surprise” if Gov. Pat Quinn pushes his pension cost shift plan through.
Republican candidates staged a press conference in Plainfield Thursday afternoon to voice their opposition to property tax increases and a plan by Gov. Pat Quinn to shift teacher pension costs to local school districts. State Sen. Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) joined candidates Garrett Peck and Bob Kalnicky at the Plainfield home of Vicki and Ernie Knight. In a press release, the candidates said Quinn’s proposal will mean higher local property taxes by shifting the state’s estimated $44 billion teachers pension burden onto school districts. “Everyone has begun to recognize — finally — that Illinois has the worst-funded pension retirement system in the country and a …
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
CBS reports that the Republican leader acknowledges that his party doesn't traditionally do well among minorities.
State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) sounded off on Republicans' difficulty securing minority votes, CBS St. Louis reported. “I think the tone and the rhetoric from a lot of people around the country on the Republican Party is inappropriate when it comes to issues like immigration,” Cross said, adding that attracting Latino voters can be a challenge, but Republicans have worked with minorities in mind, CBS reported. “If you look at some of the bills that passed in the Illinois General Assembly in the past year, we had our own version of the Dream Act ... You saw Republicans including myself that supported that.” Cross, who was elected in 1992 and is running unopposed in the new 97th District, also said the party can do better reaching out to …
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Calling new state map unconstitutional, Illinois Republicans said Democrats redrew boundaries to benefit their party.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dashed Illinois Republicans’ hopes of having a Democratic-drawn state legislative maps thrown out. The high court refused to hear an appeal from Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and other Illinois GOP leaders. In a lawsuit filed in 2011 in federal court, Republicans challenged the legislative maps, saying new boundaries disfranchise minority groups and were gerrymandered in favor of Democrats. The political boundaries were redrawn based on 2010 U.S. Census data. On Tuesday, Radogno and State Rep. Tom Cross, R-Oswego, issued a joint statement calling the ruling unfortunate. “The court's ruling [Monday] is unfortunate and disappointing in light of the valid Voting Rights Act violations …
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Balloon sculptures, sponge painting, magnetic fishing and more highlight annual event.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by State Rep. Tom Cross' office. Local parents and grandparents of young children are invited to attend State Rep. Tom Cross’ annual Child Passenger Safety Seat Inspection co-sponsored by the Plainfield Fire Protection District, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Plainfield Meijer on Route 59. Admission to the event is free with entertainment and activities including complimentary balloon sculptures; sponge painting and tattoos courtesy of the Plainfield Public Library; magnetic fishing courtesy of the Plainfield Park District; and Child ID’s courtesy of the Will County Sheriff’s Office. Door prizes include a drawing for a free boys and girls bike, donated by Meijer. …
Thursday, August 30, 2012
State Rep. Tom Cross, State Sen. Christine Radogno and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford release statements on Wednesday's downgrade announcement.
Standard and Poor’s has lowered their rating on bonds issued by the state of Illinois. Home of the worst-funded pension system, Illinois had the rating on its general- obligation debt cut one level by Standard & Poor’s and may face more downgrades, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Illinois was dropped from an A+ rating to an A rating, including a warning from S&P analysts that Illinois has a negative outlook. State Rep. Tom Cross, R-Oswego, and State Sen. Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, issued a joint statement reacting to the downgrade: When the Democrats adjourned the special session on pensions two weeks ago, we stood together and said we should not leave Springfield until we pass comprehensive pension reform to address our crisis. We …
Friday, August 17, 2012
A special session on state pension reform is slated to start Friday.
A day before lawmakers were due back in Springfield for a special session on pension reform, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation aimed at preventing lawmakers from cashing in on the state pension fund. House Bill 3969, sponsored by State Rep. Tom Cross, R-Oswego, will prevent outgoing and former state legislators from boosting their pensions by taking another government job at a higher salary once they leave office. The new law will require former lawmakers to either opt out of the higher pension at the new job, or require the hiring government agency’s pension fund to take on the additional cost. Currently, General Assembly members who began serving before Aug. 22, 1994 and obtain a higher-paying job at the state, county or municipal level …
Sunday, July 29, 2012
The flag flew above a U.S. camp in Afghanistan.
US Army Captain Court Harris, son of state Rep. David Harris, presents a US flag to House Republican Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego. The flag flew above Camp Arena in Herat Afghanistan on May 20, 2012. CPT Harris, who just returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan, presented the flag to Cross for his service to the people of Illinois this week.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation sponsored by State Rep. Tom Cross
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Gov. Pat Quinn was at the Edward Plainfield campus Plainfield Tuesday to sign legislation designating Nov. 14 Diabetes Awareness Day in Illinois. House Bill 5003, sponsored by State Rep. Tom Cross, R-Oswego, provides enhanced outreach in Illinois, where an estimated one in 10 residents is living with diabetes. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, that estimate is expected to increase to one out of every three people by the year 2050. “We’ve had tremendous support in the legislature and from our local and state diabetes communities to make today’s law a reality. It is so important to know the risk factors of diabetes and to consult your doctor if you are experiencing them,” said Cross. “We plan to partner with hospitals, …
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
House Minority Leader Tom Cross and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno applauded Gov. Pat Quinn for signing off on legislation to abolish the controversial program.
Local lawmakers applauded Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday for signing off on legislation to abolish the state's scandal-ridden legislative scholarship program. The adoption of House Bill 3810 ends 100 years of legislators being able to award deserving or undeserving college students with annual scholarships to state universities, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The controversial program came under fire in recent years after legislators began misusing it, awarding scholarships to children of legislative employees and campaign donors instead of students in need of financial aid. “There is no place for political scholarships in Illinois,” Quinn told NBC Chicago. “I believe in the power of education, the importance of ethics and integrity…
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Board of education president weighs in on state education appropriations bill, impact it could have on Plainfield schools.
School officials may have breathed a sigh of relief last week after Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan scrapped a plan to shift part of the state’s massive pension liability onto local schools, but it could be short lived. On Monday, Plainfield School District 202 Board of Education president Roger Bonuchi weighed in on education funding cuts, passed by the General Assembly two days after Madigan’s plan was dropped. The $6.5 billion education appropriations bill is expected to slash $161 million in school funding. “They say the foundation level is going to remain unchanged,” Bonuchi said, referring to the per-student allotment school districts receive from the state, currently set at $6,119. But the rate at which funding is doled out to …