ON THE RECORD: Treasurer Michael Frerichs says Wall Street fund managers must be investigated

On The Record

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — During this week’s “On the Record,” Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs spoke with Matt Sheehan about a new grant program for Illinois non-profits, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, and investigating who fund managers donate money to.

“That doesn’t mean we should stop being vigilant,” Frerichs said. “Especially during the Impeachment trial, the F.B.I. has said they have heard reports of possible violence or insurrections around the country. I am hopeful that does not happen, but I think we all need to be on guard.”

Michael frerichs | treasurer of illinois

Investigating fund managers for whom they donate to

Stopping the funding of extremists, the Illinois Treasurer said Wall Street fund managers must be investigated to see who they’re donating to.

During “On the Record,” Frerichs said this is not a democrat or republican issue, but an extremism issue.

He said the issue is especially important after riot brought violence and chaos to Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.

“If they’re donating to extremists looking to undermine our democracy, to destabilize our government, that’ll be very detrimental to our economy,” Frerichs said. “It’ll be detrimental to our companies, to the values our shareholders and pensioners have in those companies. We’re saying this isn’t about democrats and republicans, it’s about those who are extremists, who are going against our Constitution, destabilizing our country, and inciting violence. We can’t use our investment dollars to support that activity.”

Frerichs said Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been made aware of reports of potential violence at the state Capitol, but there were no reports of violence as of Wednesday afternoon.

“That doesn’t mean we should stop being vigilant,” Frerichs said. “Especially during the Impeachment trial the F.B.I has said they have heard reports of possible violence or insurrections around the country. I am hopeful that does not happen, but I think we all need to be on guard.”

The Charitable Trust Stabilization Program makes up to $250,000 available to non-profits

“We know during this pandemic when a lot of families are struggling with joblessness, housing, [and] we want to do more. We are encouraging smaller non-profits with an operating budget of less than $1 million, to apply at the Illinois Treasurer’s website at IllinoisTreasurer.gov or ILcharitableTrust.com to apply online,” Frerichs said.

Frerichs discusses his I-Cash program

The I-Cash program is where Illinoisans can claim any “unclaimed property,” which could be money forgotten in a savings account, a rebate or refund owed from a company, or even money from a forgotten life insurance policy.

“We fight on behalf of Illinois consumers to get that money back into their hands. We send our auditors into these businesses, find money that doesn’t belong to them, and try to find their rightful owners and one of the best parts of this job, last summer we passed the $1 billion mark. Setting a record for over $1 billion returned to Illinois citizens since coming into office,” Frerichs said.

Frerichs introduces $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package

After introducing a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, Frerichs said there are some necessary things in the bill that Illinoisans need.

Frerichs said he hopes Congress comes back in a bipartisan manner to do something that’ll financially help Americans.

“It’s clear this pandemic has hurt small businesses, hurt individuals, hurt State and municipal governments. There’s money on the way to help out. I think in 2008, economists learned a lesson from how we treated that great recession. The federal government needs to help out those units of government and those families out there that don’t have the same measures, the same things the federal government does to help out,” Frerichs said.

Frerichs works to help college students graduate without debt

Frerichs said two state-sponsored college savings programs called Bright Start and Bright Directions are growing.

The Treasurer serves as the trustee to these funds, which he said allows families’ contributions to grow on a tax-deferred basis while in the plan.

Frerichs also said the contributions can be withdrawn tax-free for higher education expenses like tuition, books, required fees, and room & board.

“We cut fees by about in half, and as a result, we’ve more than doubled the assets under management. $7 billion to 15 billion since taking office is something I’m very proud of, but there’s still a lot more work to be done. We want to make sure that more young people have an opportunity to get a higher education, and they graduate with less debt,” Frerichs said.

Distributions up to $10,000 (and up to $20,000 for joint filers) are tax-deductible for Illinois taxpayers.

Both plans are also known as 529 college saving plans.

The link can be found here.

In February, currently State Sen. Win Stoller (R-Peoria), and Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis scheduled for “On the Record.”

If there is a lawmaker you would like to hear speak on current events, please email msheehan@wmbd.com or reach out to Sheehan at Matt Sheehan TV on Facebook.

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