Londrigan pledges bipartisanship at town hall on UI campus

Londrigan pledges bipartisanship at town hall on UI campus

URBANA — Betsy Londrigan says her time as a student at the University of Illinois was one of the greatest experiences of her life.

"I waitressed at the Tumble Inn and loved it," said Londrigan, 47, of Springfield. "Champaign-Urbana is such a rich, diverse, interesting community of people who work so hard."

Little did Londrigan know that her 1993 UI degree in rhetoric and political science would prepare her for the current chapter in her life: running against U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis for Congress in the 13th District.

Dressed in Illini orange, Londrigan told a crowd of about 300 people attending a town hall Thursday at the Natural History Building that she would work across the aisle in Congress to move her agenda forward.

"My political mentors are Dick Durbin and Abraham Lincoln. It doesn't get any more bipartisan than that," she said.

Londrigan offered her views on a wide range of issues during the hourlong question-and-answer event.

— On providing guns to teachers:

"I would never want guns in my own classroom," said the former teacher. "I don't think arming a teacher would solve anything — ever."

— On jobs:

"I will work with President Trump to bring infrastructure back to the 13th District."

— On taxes:

"Any tax bill that I vote for is because it helps you and not because it helps corporations and special interest groups."

— On farm tariffs:

"Their impact is hitting home hard. Farmers are worried they are going to be the ones that lose their family farms. They don't want a bailout. They want markets to sell to."

— On rising health insurance premiums and deductions:

"We need to fix what's broken first by expanding Medicare as a public option. Medicare needs to bargain for its prescription drug prices."

— On the federal deficit:

"I will never support any bill that includes cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid."

— On sexual violence at colleges:

"My daughter is not as safe on campus as my boys. We need to make sure we have accountability and create a safe environment on campus for all."

— On student loan debt:

"We need to make sure you can refinance at a lower rate. I would like to see people work off their loans in public service."

— On gun violence:

"We can use science to study gun violence and take our cues from facts."

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