Griffin touts plan to re-invest funds to triple amount made

As an IU alumnus, Democratic state treasurer candidate Michael Griffin said he knows what students need.

One of Griffin's seven main plans for the office of treasurer involves an option in which future college students, or parents of future college students, could begin a pre-pay plan when the prospective students are young that would go toward funding an education at any state university. Those who participate in the program would then lock in the tuition rates and protect themselves from rising costs.

"That's becoming an increasing barrier," Griffin said. "As a practical matter, I would have to be honest and say that we have world-class publicly supported universities.

"I'd even say it about Purdue," he joked.

Griffin finished his undergraduate work at IU in 1981 with a degree in political science and religious studies. He later went back to IU-Northwest in Gary for his master's of public administration from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He currently works as an adjunct lecturer at IU-Northwest.

One of the other main ideas Griffin touts is what he calls "the Griffin Plan," a plan to re-invest money made from Gov. Mitch Daniels' Major Moves toll road project to nearly triple the amount of money Indiana receives.

"My plan would provide for three times the buying power and five times the investment reduction," Griffin explained.

Griffin's career in public service began in 1992 when he was first elected clerk-treasurer of Highland, Ind. He has been elected to four consecutive terms and still holds the position. Griffin said the experience is applicable because the duties he performs every day for Highland are similar to the job description of a state treasurer, but on a smaller scale. "I really love that job," Griffin said. "One of the things that has been important to me, one of the ways I've consoled myself, is that I've (realized) I wouldn't be serving the people of Highland any less. I'd actually be serving them differently."

Griffin said he is one of only seven certified public finance administrators in the state, which means he passed a review of public finance education and experience requirements. Griffin said he believes that if the state of Indiana hired for the job rather than elected for it, they would choose him after a comparison of resumes.

"I think I'm uniquely equipped to be a servant in that office from day one," he said. "I do have a servant's heart"

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