- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Democratic state Sen. Michael Frerichs is making a bid for state treasurer, facing former House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego. Here’s background on Frerichs and his stance on the issues:

BIOGRAPHY

Name: Michael W. Frerichs

Age: 41

Background: Former Champaign County Auditor, state Senator since 2007

Faith: Lutheran

Favorite concert: The first Lollapalooza tour when it stopped in Tinley Park in 1991

Favorite dessert: Says he generally avoids them, “but chocolate-chip cookies are a weakness.”

Most admired Illinois governor: Jim Thompson

ISSUES

On merging the office of the treasurer and the comptroller: Frerichs says voters should decide the question, but the state should streamline operations in the meantime.

On changes to the state’s investments: Among the changes Frerichs proposes is a partnership with local lenders “to provide an alternative to predatory lenders and payday loan operations that can prey on military families.”

On running the treasurer’s office more efficiently: Frerichs says he plans to reprioritize efforts to help women and teens become more financially literate, invest in small businesses, and reduce fees for the state’s college savings programs.

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