In his state of the state address today, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says we have made significant progress over the last three years.
The governor highlighted his accomplishments in health care and in raising the minimum wage, but his real focus was on a new initiative - his plan to create 230,000 new jobs.
The work would be mainly on roads projects. The governor's plan includes building or re-building 100 miles of streets and highways statewide - that includes improvements to Route 2 in Rockford. Blagojevich estimates these projects will create 140-thousand jobs - not to mention the additional benefits improved infrastructure has for businesses.
"Projects like these help businesses reduce the cost of moving products to market. It helps people get to and from work and, by the way, when we're out there trying to pitch Illinois to businesses, to encourage them to come here, we have found that selling them on our infrastructure has proven to be one of the most persuasive arguments we can make," says Blagojevich.
The remaining jobs would come from the construction of new schools as well as improvements to mass transit. Rockford is slated to get some new buses as part of those transit improvements.
In addition to his plans for job creation, the governor also proposed tax credits for parents paying college tuition as well as a plan for uninsured veterans to get health insurance.