While visiting the Rockford MetroCentre today, State Senator Kirk Dillard blasted Governor Pat Quinn for what he calls a lengthy delay in issuing three billion dollars in construction bonds to fund the state's mini capital plan. Dillard claims that because Governor Quinn didn't issue the bonds until last week, a whole summer of construction opportunities was wasted and tens of thousands of jobs went unfilled.
"Here in Rockford we have the highest unemployment rate in the state of Illinois. Some 15 percent and to sit around idly and to stall and miss an entire construction season is just unbelievable," says Dillard.
However, Governor Quinn's office defends itself tonight, saying Dillard's statements are inaccurate.
A statement released by Quinn's office says "The Illinois Jobs Now! program is moving forward and any assertion to the contrary is mistaken. Illinois is already issuing bonds to fund important capital construction projects, create much-needed jobs and improve our economy."
It continues, "$400 million in General Obligation Bonds have already been issued to fund Illinois capital projects, including over 240 road and bridge projects that will create thousands of jobs and make 858 miles of Illinois roadways smoother and safer.
Governor Quinn is committed to proceeding with funding the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which over the next six years will create over 439,000 Illinois jobs by making long-needed and necessary improvements to our roads, bridges, transportation networks, schools and communities.
Illinois Jobs Now! is the first major jobs/construction program approved by the state in over a decade. It has been hailed by labor, business and everyday people as crucial to turning our state economy around. It's an example of what can be accomplished when our state rejects political posturing and works together for the common good."