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CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's confident same-sex marriage will become law in Illinois.

Quinn told reporters in Chicago on Monday that supporters are "very close" to the votes needed in the state House to pass legislation that grants same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.

The Illinois Senate already approved it. But getting the 60 votes needed in the House is proving harder. Quinn didn't suggest a current vote count, but he said "we're going to get it done."

The Chicago Democrat says he's reached out personally to ask legislators to support the measure.

If the bill does become law, it would make Illinois the 10th state to allow same-sex marriage. The state approved civil unions in 2011.

Published in Local News

   A metro-east state senator says he'll file legislation to have the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees disbanded.

   Alton Senator Bill Haine says the governor needs to start over after board member Roger Herrin tried to have himself appointed as chairman.  

   Yesterday's board meeting in Carbondale ended early when trustee Marquita Wiley of Belleville and SIU-Edwardsville student trustee David Hamilton walked out in protest. The two objected to the election of officers, saying no chair should be chosen until Governor Quinn and the Illinois Senate fill three vacant board seats.

   The walkout effectively stopped Herrin's election, because with only five seats currently filled, Wiley and Hamilton's absences meant the board didn't have a quorum.

Published in Local News
Tuesday, 02 April 2013 16:40

Governor Quinn embarks on trip to Mexico

 MELROSE PARK, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says the focus of his upcoming trip to Mexico is jobs and increasing trade and Illinois tourism.

 

The Chicago Democrat departs tomorrow for the three-day trip. He'll be the first Illinois governor to visit Mexico in 13 years.

 

His meetings will focus on water treatment and technology in Mexico for Illinois companies.

 

He'll also meet with Mexico's secretary of agriculture, mayors and state governors.

 

Quinn told reporters Tuesday that Illinois and Mexico have many ties and it's important to strengthen them.

 

The delegation will include representatives from Motorola Solutions, GSG Consultants and Elan Technologies.

 

Quinn says he's paying his own way for the trip through his campaign fund.

 

 

Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says any overhaul of Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem should have a funding guarantee.

He spoke yesterday just days after House lawmakers approved their third pension-related bill. The latest would reduce and delay cost-of-living increases in state employees' retirement pay.

Pensions have been Quinn's top issue for more than a year. He says lawmakers' work last week was a step in the right direction but there's further to go. Quinn says any reform package should address retirement age and pensionable salary.

Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension debt because lawmakers skipped or shorted pension payments for years.

House lawmakers recently OK'd bills that would cap the salary on which benefits are based to the limit set for Social Security and delay the retirement age incrementally.
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says there's need for improvement after the private manager of the Illinois Lottery fell short of promised profits.

The lottery says that Northstar Lottery Group projected net income of about $851 million for fiscal year 2012. The lottery says profits actually were $757 million, about $95 million short. Northstar took over management of the Illinois Lottery in July 2011.

Quinn told reporters after an unrelated event in Chicago that the management model needs improvement. He didn't offer many specifics but says one fix could be trying to attract more people to play the lottery.

The profit targets are part of a management agreement between the lottery and Northstar. The agreement says Northstar must pay the lottery $20 million if it doesn't reach the target.
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says even though the proposed budget makes tough cuts to education he's preserving a few areas, like early childhood education and some college scholarships.

The Chicago Democrat delivered a budget address Wednesday that calls for about $400 million in cuts to education.

Quinn says early childhood development is crucial as is the Illinois Monetary Award Program, or MAP grant program.

Quinn says access to higher education is fundamental to a student's earning potential.

Quinn says the cuts to education are because of lawmakers' inaction on the pension crisis. He says trying to catch up on a nearly $100 billion pension hole is crowding out spending on other areas, particularly education.
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Associated Press has learned the Illinois women's prison in Dwight will close by March 31 after a complicated move of hundreds of inmates, including the temporary placement of 500 prisoners in gymnasiums.

Gov. Pat Quinn ordered Dwight penitentiary closed to save money. But state officials have not revealed how and when the women's facility would be shuttered.

A draft Department of Corrections memo obtained yesterday by the AP indicates the closure process began Feb. 28, with the transfer of male inmates at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln to prisons in Canton, Centralia, Danville, Hillsboro, and Vienna.

Those medium-security inmates would move into cells vacated by minimum-security inmates who will move into temporary housing in gymnasiums.

The women from Dwight will then move into the vacated cells at Logan.
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to call today for additional cuts and more scrutiny of money that's automatically sent to local governments, public transportation and other programs as he presents his proposed budget.

The Chicago Democrat will propose slashing $400 million from education in the fiscal year that starts July 1. It also will pin the blame for the cuts on lawmakers' failure to fix the state's worst-in-the-nation pension problem.

The automatic fund transfers include more than $2 billion in spending that Quinn's aides describe as "on autopilot." The amount those programs receive is set in state statute. Trying to cut it is likely to cause a contentious debate.

Quinn's proposed budget also attempts to pay down $2 billion in unpaid bills.
Published in Local News
Monday, 04 March 2013 01:35

New IL National Guard leader takes over

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Brig. Gen. Daniel Krumrei has assumed command of the Illinois National Guard.

Krumrei takes over for Congressman William Enyart, a retired major general who was elected to Congress as a Democrat last November. He had been in command of the Illinois National Guard since 2007.

Krumrei was command staff chaplain for the Illinois National Guard since 2005. Gov. Pat Quinn in December appointed him to take over for Enyart.

Krumrei assumed command in a ceremony over the weekend at a high school in the central Illinoi community of Chatham.

Roughly 13,000 people serve in the Illinois National Guard.
Published in Local News
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A scheduled meeting of the Southern Illinois University system's board fizzled because Gov. Pat Quinn's bid to replace three of the panel's members didn't leave enough members to convene.

The Thursday morning meeting was canceled for lack of quorum because of the three vacancies and the absence of a fourth trustee.

That came a day after the Illinois Senate overwhelmingly rejected Quinn's appointments of three replacements for three board members whose terms expired last month.

Wednesday's failed ratification vote continues a year-old power struggle at SIU.

The rift dates to early last year when the SIU board refused to give Quinn-appointed Roger Herrin another term as chairman. The board contended he was too involved in day-to-day operations. Those who voted to oust Herrin included the three members Quinn replaced this week.
Published in Local News
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