Quinn Gives State of the State Address

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ILLINOIS (WIFR ) – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says in the five years he’s been in office, his administration has been slowly reforming the state.

In his state of the state address, Quinn outlined several plans for economic growth. Those include creating more jobs, increasing funding for early childhood education and making a fairer economy.

“We all knew that repairing the damage that had been done over decades would not happen overnight. But over the past 5 years, we’ve rebuilt one hard step at a time and we’ve been getting the job done. Illinois is making a comeback,” said Quinn.

State Senator Steve Stadelman says he’s encouraged by Governor Quinn’s plan to help small businesses. He says he’s enthusiastic about what can be done now to create jobs like lowering business fees.

State Senator Dave Syverson says Governor Quinn has failed in reforming Illinois. He says raising the minimum wage would not raise up the middle class.

Illinois governor talks pension during speech

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn says approving a landmark pension overhaul last year took "political courage" and was painful.

Quinn made the comments during his State of the State address on Wednesday, a day after a coalition of unions filed a lawsuit calling the pension legislation unconstitutional. The law is aimed at eliminating Illinois' nearly $100 billion in unfunded liability. That's the worst among all states nationwide.

Quinn says Illinois has now "stopped the bleeding" with its fiscal problems.

The Chicago Democrat signed the law last month. It essentially cuts benefits for employees and retirees. Quinn has said pensions were his top priority.

Quinn calls for raising minimum wage during speech

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn says raising Illinois' minimum wage is about dignity and decency.

Quinn reiterated his push Wednesday during his State of the State address. He says he wants to raise the state's $8.25 rate to at least $10 an hour.

The Chicago Democrat has wanted to increase the rate for years. Trying to do so has also been part of a national Democratic strategy.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced plans to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour, a jump over the current federal $7.25 rate.

Minimum wage also has been a major issue on the 2014 gubernatorial campaign trail for Illinois Republicans. Three of the four GOP candidates oppose an increase.

Quinn wants to double earned income tax credit

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn wants to again double an income tax credit aimed at helping poor Illinois families keep more of the money they earn.

Quinn spoke Wednesday during the annual State of the State address. He says the tax credit should be increased over five years.

The state last increased the credit in 2011 as part of an incentive package aimed at keeping big businesses in the state. At the time, the state's rate for the credit was among the lowest in the nation. The legislation increased it over two years from its original 5 percent to 10 percent by this year.

State officials said it would eventually translate to an average of about $100 a year per family.

Gov. Quinn addresses business in yearly speech

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn has focused part of his State of the State address on Illinois' business climate. The Chicago Democrat says he will create a new position in his office that will focus on advocating for small businesses.

The advocate will advise Quinn on issues and help start and grow businesses.

Quinn also called for reducing a filing fee to create a limited liability company to $39 from its current fee of $500. That's among the highest in the nation.

Quinn's office says he will propose legislation intended to reduce Illinois' fee to the lowest in the nation. The idea is to make it easier for small businesses to get started.

Quinn pushes for Illinois early education funding

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn wants to beef up early education in Illinois.

The Chicago Democrat focused on the issue Wednesday during his annual State of the State address.

He didn't detail how much money the initiative will cost or how it will be run. He says he wants to increase access to prenatal care, early learning and parental support.

Quinn says putting more resources into early education will pay off in the future.

The Illinois State Board of Education is asking lawmakers for a $25 million increase in early childhood education next year. But funding could be scarce. That's because a scheduled rollback of the state's temporary income tax may mean cuts for schools and social services.

GOP's Brady says Quinn paints false `rosy picture'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Republican candidate for governor Bill Brady says Gov. Pat Quinn has "failed over the last five years" but painted a rosy picture during his annual address to the Illinois Legislature.

The state Senator from Bloomington spoke following the Chicago Democrat's Wednesday speech in Springfield.

Brady noted that Quinn didn't mention the upcoming expiration of the state's income tax hike in Jan. 2015, which Quinn has billed as temporary.

Brady says Quinn's "failure to recommit his promise to provide that tax cut" puts questions in businesses and families' minds about whether to stay in Illinois.

Brady is facing Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard, state treasurer Dan Rutherford and Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner in the March 18 primary.

Dillard says Quinn's speech missed biggest issues

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- State Sen. Kirk Dillard says Gov. Pat Quinn missed the biggest issues facing Illinois during his State of the State speech.

The GOP gubernatorial candidate says Quinn used "perfume" to cover up Illinois' economic outlook. Dillard says Quinn's speech was a populist, re-election speech.

Dillard also criticized the governor for not addressing plans for the income tax increase set to expire in 2015. He says the budget is a "foot on the throat to economic development."

Quinn's speech outlined a "Birth to Five" plan aimed at improving early education. Dillard says he's interested in parts of the plan. But Dillard calls such programs "warm and fuzzy." He says Quinn needed to get down to the "nitty gritty" of Illinois' problems.

Dillard says Quinn isn't facing up to Illinois' problems.

Rutherford: Quinn's address avoided `hard stuff'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- State Treasurer and GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford says Gov. Pat Quinn's annual address put a rosy spin on his tenure and avoided "some of the hard stuff."

Quinn delivered his State of the State speech to the Illinois Legislature on Wednesday. The Chicago Democrat said Illinois is making "a comeback."

Rutherford says unemployment may be down, but Illinois still has one of the highest jobless rates of any state in the nation.

He says he wanted to hear more from Quinn about a new capital construction plan that could create jobs. He also notes that Quinn avoided talk of whether to extend a temporary tax increase.

Rutherford faces three other Republicans in the March primary: state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard and businessman Bruce Rauner.

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.

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