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   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn's state budget address this week could be the most crucial of his political career.
   His pitch to lawmakers comes as Illinois grapples with a major financial dilemma: Whether to extend a temporary income tax increase. And Quinn is facing a serious re-election challenge from Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, who already refers to Quinn as "the worst governor in America."
   It's the first major fiscal issue since Rauner won the GOP nod.
   Quinn is expected to reveal plans for when the tax sunsets and leaves a roughly $1.6 billion revenue hole, making deep cuts likely. The speech in Springfield on Wednesday will also be his opportunity to deliver a message to critical groups, like unions, that've been displeased with him and that he'll need come November.
 
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's re-election campaign is getting an out-of-state boost.
   The Chicago Democrat flew to Los Angeles on Friday for a fundraiser attended by actors and others in the movie industry.
   Quinn campaign spokeswoman Leslie Wertheimer confirmed Monday that Quinn was in Los Angeles for the fundraiser. She said a similar one was thrown in his honor in 2013.
   The Chicago Sun-Times reported those in attendance included actor Joe Mantegna of CBS' "Criminal Minds."
   Quinn has kept a low-profile on the campaign trail so far. He faces one lesser-known Democratic challenger on March 18. Activist Tio Hardiman of suburban Hillside is running.
   Four Republicans are running for Illinois governor. They are state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady, business man Bruce Rauner and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
 
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:02

Illinois governor to sign gay marriage into law

  CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois is about to join the ranks of states allowing same-sex marriage.

   Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign a bill Wednesday making Illinois the 16th state to legalize gay marriage. The event will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

 

   Illinois allowed civil unions in 2011. But it was a bumpy road to same-sex marriage in President Barack Obama's home state.

   The Illinois Senate approved the measure in February, but the House sponsor said he didn't have the votes. It wasn't called until this month and passed by a close margin.

   Those who opposed the measure included some of Illinois most well-recognized religious leaders.

   Same-sex couples will be allowed to wed starting in June.

Published in Local News

   WASHINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's received a phone call from President Barack Obama after fatal storms hit Obama's home state.

   Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Monday that Quinn received the call on his cellphone while touring damage in the central Illinois community of Washington.  The community was among the hardest hit. The White House confirmed the call, saying Obama relayed concern and expressed gratitude for the responders.

   Quinn gave Obama an update on the damage, relief efforts and emergency response. Quinn was with Washington Mayor Gary Manier, who also spoke to Obama.

   Authorities say six people died in Sunday's storms when tornadoes flattened homes and caused severe damage. So far seven counties have been declared state disaster areas.

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' top Democratic legislative leaders are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reject Gov. Pat Quinn's appeal of a lawsuit over legislative pay.

   Quinn halted lawmakers' pay in July until pension reform was achieved. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled last month that the move was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to be sent back pay, with interest. An appeal is being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

   House Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton dispute Quinn's argument that the Illinois constitution only bans mid-term increases in pay.Illinois' unfunded pension liability is close to $100 billion, due largely to lawmakers shorting or skipping payments. A committee of lawmakers has been working on one possible reform package that could save $138 billion over 30 years.

 
Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn claims Illinois has added 80,000 jobs through foreign firms since he took office, but some economists say he can't take all the credit.

   The Chicago Democrat released new jobs figures while in Japan for a conference with other governors and business executives. He returns on Tuesday.

   Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity spokeswoman Sandra Jones says Quinn's figures come from a report from Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. That's a New Jersey-based credit reporting service for businesses. The figures are from 2009's end to earlier this year.

   University of Illinois economist Fred Giertz says the increase is possible, but much of it is automatic. He says international companies want to do business in Illinois and some will whether an elected official pushes it or not.

 

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Lawmakers are set to meet in Springfield to consider a bill allowing the concealed carry of weapons in public on the day of a court-mandated deadline to pass such legislation.

   Gov. Pat Quinn has asked for sweeping changes to a concealed carry bill, but lawmakers have been less than enthusiastic, so far, and are expected to override his changes.

   Quinn wants an ammunition limit and to prohibit guns in any place that serves alcohol, among other provisions. He has backed his changes by focusing on violence in Chicago.

   But several lawmakers say Quinn proposed changes come too late in the process.

   Illinois is the only state without a law to allowed concealed carry. A federal appeals court ruled the state's ban unconstitutional and set a Tuesday deadline to allow it.

   

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is holding fast to his position that legislation calling for the carrying of concealed weapons should allow city governments to decide their own standards.

   But the Democratic governor's preference goes against lawmakers, who have given such ideas a chilly reception.

   The General Assembly has until June 9 to end Illinois' last-in-the-nation ban on concealed carry because of a federal appeals court ruling.

   Quinn wants larger cities such as Chicago to be able to set up their own standards for gun-toting citizens.

   Gun-rights advocates say that would create a confusing "patchwork" of laws and put gun owners in jeopardy.

   A plan in the Senate would give Chicago-area police the ability to deny gun permits. Gun owners and Republicans are cool to the idea.

 

Published in Local News
Tuesday, 23 April 2013 09:20

Rain adds to flooding worries in MO & IL

"The rain is not gonna help us at all and it could hurt us. Depends on how much rain we get." That's Foley Missouri alderman Ken Jaspering talking about efforts to keep the Mississippi River from flooding the tiny town of 161.Some 500 people including a half dozen inmates pitched in on Monday to help sandbag.

So what about today's (Tuesday's) rain?  Jaspering tells KTRS' Michael Golde, "I've been here since 1940 (laughs) so I've seen some stuff. But it shouldn't get as bad as 2008." 

Authorities say makeshift levees mostly held back the water in communities along the Mississippi River and other Midwestern waterways. 

An inch of rain is expected to fall today on a wide swath of the country from Oklahoma to Michigan. 

In Illinois--Governor Pat Quinn says emergency workers dealing with the growing flood threat near Peoria are also dealing with people checking out the swollen river:

'This is not a river to get on. The Illinois River or any of its tributaries. They're very swollen. Same way with the Mississippi River. We don't want people taking chances coming near the river. The current is much stronger than ever. We have boats. We've rescued a lot of people."

 
 

 

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has issued an emergency declaration following the flooding and severe weather affecting areas across Illinois.

   Quinn issued the declaration yesterday. The action will allow the state to access federal resources including generators, pump systems sandbags and additional funds. The declaration is a step below a disaster emergency declaration.

   Quinn says the American Red Cross has opened two shelters in north central Illinois. One is in Oglesby and another in Roanoke.

   Earlier yesterday, Quinn initiated the State Incident Response Center to monitor flooding and severe weather in portions of Illinois and help coordinate assistance local authorities may need.

   The governor is encouraging people affected by the weather to go online for real time updates on the storms.

 
Published in Local News
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