Judy's vision for Illinois:

Together, we can get Illinois moving in the right direction.

As Governor, I will approach our state’s challenges with the principles my parents taught me and I worked to teach my son: Common Sense. Straight Talk. Hard Work.

My priorities as Governor are clear:



Ethics Reform:

I pledge that I will live in the Governor’s Mansion and serve as a Governor for all of Illinois.

4 year Budget Rescue Plan:

Topinka Unveils Long-Term Vision for the Future of Illinois Children: Higher Standards. Stronger Schools.

$8.2 Billion - Largest Four-Year Funding Increase in State History Attracting and Retaining Quality Teachers; Focus on Reading, Math and Science; Plus, an Additional $3 Billion for Building Safe, Modern Classrooms

CHICAGO – GOP Gubernatorial Nominee Judy Baar Topinka today unveiled her comprehensive vision for Illinois’ education system following four-years of failed leadership by the current administration.

Calling for higher standards and stronger schools Topinka said, “It’s time the State of Illinois required greater accountability and lived up to its commitment to our children by adequately funding our schools.”

The Topinka-Birkett plan would provide an additional $8.2 billion for schools and teacher pensions in its first four years. In addition, her plan calls for a $3 billion school construction program to build safe and modern classrooms.

The Topinka-Birkett plan calls for increasing the Foundation Level in Illinois by $1,000 per student over the next four years, the largest four-year funding increase in state history. The current foundation level is hundreds of dollars below the recommended level.

As Governor, Topinka will propose legislation to put multiple years of planned Foundation Level increases into law. She will also support a “continuing appropriation” to guarantee long-term funding and give school districts predictability in budget planning.

“It’s common sense,” said Topinka. “This legislation gives school districts predictability in planning their budgets for multiple years.”

The Topinka-Birkett plan focuses on attracting and retaining quality teachers. Topinka will ask the Illinois General Assembly to fully fund the Teacher Induction and Mentoring Law. The plan also proposes a one-time bonus stipend of $5,000 to Master Teachers who will commit to work for five years in underperforming schools. Topinka will propose a tax credit for Illinois teachers that would allow them to receive a credit of 50% of their personal classroom expenditures up to a maximum credit of $150.

Reiterating her pledge to not raid pension funds Topinka said, “What Rod Blagojevich has done to the pension systems lacks responsibility as a Governor and is simply wrong. I will properly fund the pension systems and not raid them.”

Noting that Rod Blagojevich actually reduced reading grant funding in Illinois, Topinka pledged to increase the state’s Reading Improvement Block Grant by $100 million over the next six years. Topinka’s commitment to reading is part of a concentration on reading, math and science.

As part of her Higher Standards pledge, Topinka will create a P-20 Council consisting of state education leaders to better coordinate all levels of education and begin the process of aligning Illinois education programs. One of the P-20 Council’s first charges will be to develop a rigorous “Core Curriculum” for Illinois students. The council will be provided with $1 million during the first budget cycle for development of the “Core Curriculum” proposal.

Topinka also proposed the creation of a second Illinois Math and Science Academy in downstate Illinois.

“In today’s global economy, it is imperative that our students are ready to face the challenges of college and the work-force,” said Topinka.

The plan also provides for greater accountability in the state’s education system. As Governor, Topinka will work to restore independence to the State Board of Education by appointing independent, respected individuals to the board. Further, Topinka will not delay the 23rd and 24th state aid payments to local school districts. She will support legislation that would stipulate these payments must be made in June and not delayed until a new fiscal year.

Topinka will support expansion of early childhood education and all-day kindergarten. She will also substantially increase the state’s investment in Children’s Mental Health initiatives. Due to the failed leadership and lack of trust in Rod Blagojevich, Illinois schools have not had a school construction plan in four years. As Governor, Judy Baar Topinka will propose and enact a school construction grant program of $3 billion.

JUDY BAAR TOPINKA EDUCATION PLAN: An Historic Commitment to Education

Topinka’s Plan provides $8.2 billion in new money for education.

Topinka supports a continuing appropriation for education.

Topinka’s plan is funded with sustainable revenues.

Topinka fully funds state’s $3.3 billion contribution to teachers’ pensions.

Topinka opposes reducing pension benefits for teachers.

Topinka funds a $3 Billion School Construction Program.

Highlights of Judy’s Funding Plan:

Topinka’s Plan renews commitment to higher education institutions.

The differences between the proposals are clear:

Fully Funds State Contributions to Teachers Pensions

Opposes Reductions to Teacher Pension Benefits

School Construction Program

Property Tax Relief

Sells Education Assets (Lottery & Student Loans)

Creates Assets for Education (10th Gaming License)

Additonal Funds for Higher Education

Tuition Relief for Students of Public Universities

Continuing Appropriation to Guarantee Funding

Proposals Backed by Sustainable Revenue Source

Judy Baar Topinka:

Judy Baar TopinkaA Lifetime of Service

Throughout her life, Judy Baar Topinka has worked to make a positive difference in lives of everyday people in Illinois.

As the 2006 Republican nominee for Governor, she is running to restore the fiscal responsibility to state government and to restore the public’s trust in the Governor’s Office.

Raised in the Cook County suburb of Riverside, her parents owned a small business and, along with her grandparents, taught Judy the principles of common sense, straight talk and hard work.

Judy graduated from the Ferry Hall School in Lake Forest and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism.

Soon Judy was an accomplished reporter in the Cook County suburbs who worked to tell readers more about their government. She saw first hand that local elected officials were not serving the needs of their constituents – and she was deeply disappointed by shady politics of the local political machine.

She believed someone needed to work to clean up government and fight against a corrupt political machine. That someone, she decided, could be her.

Judy ran for state representative on a platform of cleaning up the system. The voters responded and she won in a landslide victory.

As a member of the Illinois House and later the Illinois Senate, Judy focused her attention on fiscal responsibility. Always tight with a buck, Judy also worked for policies helped spur economic growth.

In 1994, Judy sought to serve on a statewide basis running for State Treasurer. She won in a close race, and her performance as treasurer earned Illinois recognition for innovation and accomplishment in the office.

Judy also earned two more terms from Illinois voters, becoming the first State Treasurer to win three consecutive terms.

In 2002, vote totals show she collected more votes as Treasurer than Rod Blagojevich did as Governor. Because of her ability to attract Independent and even Democrat voters, Judy Baar Topinka was the lone Republican who survived a Democratic election year.

In 2006, she earned the Republican nomination for Governor in the November 2006 election. She calls her priorities “The three E’s” - Education, Economy and Ethics Reform. Judy says as Governor, she will be guided by those same principles she learned from her parents: Common Sense. Straight Talk. Hard Work.

As Governor, she has pledged to live in the Governor’s Mansion in the State Capital of Springfield.


Topinka’s achievements as a journalist and public servant have earned her awards from more than 250 civic, business, professional and social service organizations.


Judy Baar Topinka resides in Riverside. Her son, Joseph, is a Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Joe and his wife, Christina, live in Washington state where he is assigned as the Center Judge Advocate for Madigan Army Medical Center located at Fort Lewis, Washington. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northern Illinois University Law School.


There is a big difference between the candidates for Governor on property taxes.

Judy on Property Taxes:

Blagojevich on Property Taxes:

Topinka’s budget plan pays for Property Tax Relief for Every Property Tax payer in Illinois – without raising taxes:

TINLEY PARK, IL – State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka asked Governor Rod Blagojevich to explain the governor's huge property tax break. In Rod Blagojevich’s neighborhood, homeowners were socked with an average 36.7% property tax assessment increase, but one “lucky” homeowner received an increase of just 1% – Rod Blagojevich.

“First, the governor gets a curious $1,500 check to his seven-year-old daughter and now an equally curious property tax break,” Topinka said. “Either he's the luckiest person in Illinois or there's another explanation.”

”When I talk to voters in the supermarket or at the coffee shop, they tell me they’re most upset about high property taxes. That’s why my four-year budget plan will freeze property taxes for two years. I know homeowners need property tax relief – and I will deliver it.”

Blagojevich's personal finances are under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office, according to the Chicago Tribune. He has yet to disclose his 2005 federal income tax release despite Topinka's release of her full tax forms for the past 12 years.

“The public deserves to know: Did the Governor or his representatives discuss the governor's property taxes with anyone in the assessor’s office? There has to be an explanation – Why are the Governor’s neighbors being hit hard while the governor essentially gets a property tax freeze,” she added.

According to various published reports, the governor's residence in the Ravenswood Manor subdivision in NW Chicago was given a 1 percent property assessment increase this year while residences on his block got a 37 percent increase. The increases also averaged 37 percent for Rod's immediate neighborhood of 156 homes.

The assessor's office claims it was allowing Rod's assessment to “catch up” because it was too high previously. However, during the last reassessment in 2003, Rod's property was raised about the same as his neighbors.

Published reports show that the median assessment increase in Chicago this year was 41 percent and those same published reports show other increases:

Archive: Info gathered from Judy Baar Topinka's previous races

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