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Treasurer Candidate Visits Murray Center

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

Oswego State Senator and Republican Candidate for Illinois State Treasurer, Tom Cross, was in Centralia on Friday to tour the imperiled Murray Developmental Center, a state facility targeted for closure by the administration of Governor Pat Quinn.

Cross came to the facility at the behest of State Representative Charlie Meier, one of the strongest advocates in Springfield for keeping the facility open. Cross called Murray a "unique" facility that should not be closed.

"Met with a bunch of parents and a lot of the folks that live and work there...there are people going through a lot of challenges and the Murray Center provides a safe environment and a place to call home...and you can't get a real sense of that unless you [go] there" said Cross.

Governor Quinn has yet to visit the Murray Center, despite several requests from the Murray Parents Association and Representative Meier. Cross says he believes in balancing the budget in the State, and says that Murray can easily fit into such a budget.

"You gotta set priorities. We have more money as a state than we've ever had...we can't ignore the needs of the folks [at Murray Center]" said Cross.

While Cross admitted that there was little power a Treasurer could wield to stop the Murray closure, Cross said he would act as an advocate for the Murray Center and it's residents in Springfield.

Cross, visited the center while on a campaign tour in southern Illinois. He faces a democratic challenger, Mike Frerichs, in November for the seat currently occupied by State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who opted not to run again.

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