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BRAD HAHN / 630-606-1394

Local leaders, supporters rally for Illinois Comptroller

MT. VERNON  – Judy Baar Topinka brought her “Common Sense Express” Tour to Mt. Vernon on Tuesday, announcing her re-election campaign for Illinois Comptroller and vowing to continue her fight against the spend, tax and borrow policies that have decimated state finances.

Surrounded by rallying supporters at Papa Z’s Homemade Ice Cream, Topinka noted that in just three years as the state’s Chief Fiscal Officer, her office has set a new standard for transparency, demanded accountability from local governments and spoken out against new spending and borrowing schemes that would ultimately dig the state deeper into debt.

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“Four years ago, you joined with me on a quest to use the Comptroller’s Office to fight for efficiency, transparency and accountability. We have taken that change to heart and it is making a difference,” Topinka said. “But we’re just getting warmed up, and we owe it to state taxpayers to finish the job we’ve started.”

The visit was part of a 3-day, nine-stop “Common Sense Express” statewide bus tour that Topinka launched to announce her campaign for re-election.

During her first term in office, Topinka  set a new standard for transparency with creation of the online Ledger, which allows taxpayers to view everything from daily balances and expenditures to all state employee salaries.  She demanded accountability from local governments, requiring that financial reports be filed on time and calling in investigators when necessary. And she modernized the Comptroller’s Office, leading the transition to electronic payments and record keeping, and saving taxpayers millions annually.

With Illinois facing more than $7.5 billion in unpaid bills, Topinka said she will continue bringing common sense to state finances, and opposing new spending and borrowing that would drive Illinois deeper into the red.

“It’s Common Sense 101: when you’re drowning in debt, you knock off the spending outside of your essentials and you cut up the credit cards – not apply for new ones,” Topinka said. “Somehow Illinois has failed to learn that lesson, and we’re all paying the price. “

Topinka’s “Common Sense Express” Announcement Tour will make stops in: Chicago, Rockford, Moline, Peoria, Quincy, Springfield, Edwardsville, Mt. Vernon and Marion.

“I invite everybody who cares about the future of this state – everyone who wants government to spend less and work better – to join me, and let’s make it happen,” she said. “Let’s build on our successes, and let’s make Illinois proud again.”