News Local/State

Dillard Weighs In On Business, Education, And Rauner At U of I


State Senator Kirk Dillard says Illinois is overtaxed and over-regulated, and that’s playing a large part in the unemployment rate.

The Republican Senator and candidate for Illinois governor met Friday with three manufacturers in Danville to discuss what he calls extra regulatory burdens Illinois has versus other Midwestern states.

"We need to have a change in our worker's compensation system that makes us more competitive with places like Indiana, or Wisconsin," he said.  "I am laser-focused on making us a destination economy for people that create jobs."

Meeting with students on the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus, Dillard said the majority of their questions focused on the amount of student loan debt. 

Urbana Democratic Representative Naomi Jakobsson recently introduced a bill that would urge Congress to restore full bankruptcy protections to all student loans.  Dillard said he’d have to review the measure. 

He blames higher tuition rates on the ‘mismanagement’ of Governor Pat Quinn and legislators the past decade. 

He said legislators appear to be close to finding a solution to Illinois' $100-billion pension crisis, but didn't endorse a specific plan Friday.

Dillard said fellow GOP gubernatorial candidate and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner is trying to buy the election. 

His comments come in response to the news that Rauner has placed $500,000 of his own money into his coffers.  Dillard said the March primary will be won on issues, not campaign spending.

“I think he put that money in because he’s probably running close to last in the polls.  It is votes in a grassroots operation that win elections, not money.  And to our credit in this state, both political parties have never let a gozillionaire like Rauner who has made millions of dollars off of public pension systems ever buy an election, and I hope that won’t continue this time.”

The Hinsdale Republican says he’s not a regional candidate, but a suburbanite with strong downstate roots.

Dillard says he’s not attempting to repeal same-sex marriage, with its recent passage and signing next week by Governor Pat Quinn.  He said the issue is now behind us, and is making the economy his main priority.