Candidate in democratic primary for governor talks higher education, pension reform


Olivia Swenson-Hultz

Bob Daiber discussed his campaign for governor at a lecture in Coleman Hall, room 2140 on Thursday evening.

Olivia Swenson-Hultz, Associate News Editor

Bob Daiber, a democratic candidate in the primary race for governor, talked about his plan to rebuild higher education systems in Illinois, as well as other platforms, when he came to Eastern Friday.

Daiber said his campaign is primarily centered around fixing higher education in the state.

He plans to do this by implementing a progressive tax, which he says will change the revenue stream from negative to positive.

Daiber said this would mean the state income tax would range from 1 to 6 percent, with the wealthiest Illinois residents paying the highest rate.

Regarding pensions, Daiber said the system can be made whole again by investing in municipal bonds.

Daiber wants to implement policies that will save the state money as well as cut down spending by providing free services.

He suggested providing locals with two nights a week when they can bring their child into the Health and Counseling Services building to receive free healthcare, even if they do not have insurance.

Daiber said developing a better marketing plan and focusing on Ill.’s strengths, such as being the first in soybean production in the country, could also improve its financial situation.

“Why are we shipping all of our soybeans to Texas-why not business in-state?” he said.

Daiber, remembering the emphasis on technology education from his years at Eastern, wants professors working at state schools in Illinois to continue focusing on technology research.

“We need professors that want to keep their jobs,” he said.

For secondary schools, Daiber said he would like to see them offer technical school training, since not everyone will go on to attend college.

“Too many people come out of school with no skill sets, and they flounder. There are tons of technical school jobs that are still unfilled,” he said.

Daiber is an advocate for raising the minimum wage in Illinois.

He said $10 an hour would be fine for a training wage, but $15 an hour is better for a living wage.

“Low wages make people more reliant on the state for services. I’m for good paying jobs and more independence,” he said.

Another one of Daiber’s focuses is helping to reform the Juvenile Justice System and improving the lives of those who may be at risk.

He is currently working on implementing a program in Madison County called “Give 30” that allows people to meet with an at-risk youth to give them positive encouragement.

When it comes to the environment, Daiber is concerned about water and air quality and an is advocate for solar energy.

Daiber said the evolution of the solar business will change residential living for the better.

“We’re missing out on revolutionizing our way of living due to lack of research” he said.

He is also against fracking because of the dissemination of subsoil and the contamination of subsurface water.

Daiber also discussed his plan to allow constituents to vote on the legalization of marijuana saying it needs to be legalized through the people.

“I’m looking to establish marijuana guidelines similar to the ones in Colorado by giving (marijuana) consumption projections,” Daiber said.

Even in a competitive race for the governorship, Daiber said he is still comfortable running against his wealthier fellow canidates because they will not be able to get the same voters as he will.

“It’s beyond money, it’s about character and ethics,” he said. “If people complain about having another Chicago politician in office, it’s because they didn’t want to vote for somebody from Cook County.”

Daiber earned his bachelor’s and then his master’s in Education from Eastern, graduating in 1979.

He then went on to earn his doctorate in education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1990.

Daiber served as a Madison County Board member and the Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools.

He has traveled to 10 different counties within the past week to speak to constituents and this week will be embarking on a tour of Western Illinois.

Olivia Swenson-Hultz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]