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Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:39

GOP's Rauner says Gov. Quinn 'failing' Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says Gov. Pat Quinn's annual address to the Legislature was "a campaign speech from a governor that is failing the people of Illinois."
 
Rauner spoke following the Chicago Democrat's State of the State address Wednesday in Springfield.
 
The Winnetka businessman says Quinn has been in office for five years and is now proposing a new five-year plan for jobs. Rauner notes Illinois has one of the country's highest unemployment rates and higher income taxes than when Quinn took office.
 
Rauner says Illinois is in an "economic death spiral" and Quinn "is trying to cover it up and put a rosy picture on it."
 
Rauner is facing Republican state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady and Treasurer Dan Rutherford in the March primary.
Published in Local News
   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn heads into a critical election-year State of the State address this week with his top priority of pension reform inked into the law.
   The speech on Wednesday is a chance for Quinn to lay out goals for the year and recap his accomplishments.
   But how much credit the Chicago Democrat can take for what he's called the signature achievement of his governorship is up for debate.
   Quinn has won praise for keeping pension reform in the public sphere with his populist tactics, like withholding legislator pay. Pension reform was once a topic more common among economists and business groups.
   However, he's also been criticized for those methods and not doing more to broker the deal himself. Some say he only took notice when there weren't other options.
 
Published in Local News
   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is using the holiday weekend honoring Martin Luther King Jr. to continue pressing for raising Illinois' minimum wage to at least $10.
   The Democratic governor said while visiting a Chicago church Sunday that raising the state's minimum wage from $8.25 would be a key component in what he called the "war on poverty."
   Quinn says "Dr. King's legacy was one of service, compassion and inclusion," and that "we can continue his mission to eliminate poverty by raising the minimum wage."
   Republicans and business groups say raising the minimum wage kills jobs. Both the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce have come out against proposed minimum wage increases.
   Illinois last raised its minimum wage in 2010 under a series of incremental increases.
 
Published in Local News
Thursday, 26 December 2013 15:37

Illinois Jobs Now! will fund more road repairs

A boost in funding will clear the way for some road repairs in Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn announced a capital investment of more than $15.3 million on Thursday to fund a bridge repair project in St. Clair County. It is all a part of the Governor's Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program aimed at creating jobs and boosting llinois' economy.
Bridge repairs and resurfacing are planned along Interstate 64 from 18th Street to the Illinois Route 111 interchange in Washington Park.  
The $31-billion Illinois Jobs Now! project is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history.The project will support nearly 440-thousand jobs over a six year span.
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is heading to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to deliver holiday cards to wounded armed service members from Illinois.
 
Visiting the troops during the holidays has become an annual tradition for the governor. During the last eight years, he has traveled to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany - the largest American hospital outside the United States. But his office says in a news release that because so many service members have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, he decided to go to Walter Reed instead.
 
Quinn will be giving wounded service members cards made by Illinois children when he visits the hospital Friday. He says the cards are the children's way of saying thank you to men and women who can't be home during the holidays.
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:58

Governor Pat Quinn wants to raise minimum wage

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to raise Illinois' minimum wage to at least $10 by Christmas of next year.
 
The Chicago Democrat who's seeking re-election campaigned on the issue in 2010 and mentioned it during his annual address this year.
 
The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25. Quinn said Wednesday that raising the wage will help eliminate poverty.
 
Illinois last raised the minimum wage in 2010. There's legislation pending in Springfield to increase it, including a call for $15 an hour.
 
However Republicans and business groups say raising the minimum wage kills jobs. Quinn says that claims are flat wrong.
 
Some business groups have also accused Quinn of trotting out the issue ahead of the 2014 election.
 
Quinn says it's not a new issue for him.
 
Published in Local News

   Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the state will build or rehabilitate nearly 1,500 affordable housing units statewide.

   The Chicago Democrat said in a statement yesterday the apartments will ensure working families, seniors and people with disabilities have quality, affordable housing.

   The work will be financed through a federal housing tax credit and the Illinois Housing Development Authority's Preservation Now program.

   Residents must earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income to qualify for the units. That's about $35,000 in the Chicago area.

   In Edwardsville, an existing independent living development serving seniors and people with disabilities will be rehabilitated, and a new wing built, creating and preserving 70 affordable apartments.  

   In Aurora, the state plans to acquire and rehabilitate 40 vacant single-family homes. In Chicago, a 106-unit development for seniors will be built on the site of an abandoned building and unused tennis courts.

   Units also are planned for the Bloomington-Normal area, Galesburg, Marion and Springfield.

 
Published in Local News
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 13:29

One of Governor Quinn's offices evacuated

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Officials say Gov. Pat Quinn's constituent office in Springfield was evacuated after an envelope with a "suspicious substance" was found.

The Governor's Office of Constituent Affairs is located near the state Capitol where lawmakers and others were gathered ahead of an expected pension vote.

Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the envelope was received Tuesday, the office was evacuated and necessary precautions were taken.

The Springfield Fire Department, Secretary of State Police and Illinois State Police are investigating the incident.

The agencies did not immediately return calls for comment Tuesday.

 

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has asked President Barack Obama to declare 15 counties in Illinois major disaster areas after tornadoes and strong storms hit the state last week.

 

Quinn also said Monday that state and federal assessment teams found the storms damaged more than 2,400 homes in Illinois. That includes nearly 800 homes that were destroyed.

 

State agencies continue to help Illinois communities recover from the Nov. 17 storms. Illinois Department of Transportation equipment and Illinois Department of Corrections inmate crews are working to remove debris. The state will have resource centers in the hard-hit areas of Washington and Brookport through Tuesday.

 

The governor's office says state and federal emergency officials will meet with local governments early next month to document storm expenses.

Published in Local News

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn added six counties to the state's list of disaster areas following violent storms and tornadoes on Sunday.

The declaration increases the number of counties needing state and federal funds to 13.  The National Weather Service has issued a preliminary finding that 11 tornadoes ripped through the state, with at least two designated as EF-4's.

The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms.

Volunteer efforts are also well underway to assist the victims.  Those who wish to volunteer should NOT go to the disaster scene, but rather, visit  Ready.illinois.gov  for information on specific sites that can utilize volunteers.

Published in Local News
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