6 months ago by Bob Gough
Quinn calls for minimum wage hike and an increase in MAP grants
Exactly five years after taking office during an unprecedented triple crisis of government corruption, economic collapse and financial instability, Governor Pat Quinn today delivered his 2014 State of the State, laying out a five-year blueprint for jobs and economic growth in Illinois. The Governor's blueprint calls for creating more jobs, making early childhood education a top priority and building an economy that works for everyone -with specific measures to get the job done.
"We inherited a perfect storm and repairing the damage that had been done over decades would not happen overnight," Governor Quinn said. "Over the past five years, we have rebuilt one hard step at a time and our economic recovery is strengthening every day. We've been getting the job done and Illinois is making a comeback.”
"By following the steps I have outlined today– creating more jobs, investing in our children from birth to five and helping more workers join the middle class - we can create a stronger economy than ever before and reform Illinois for the next generation,” the Governor said.
Under Governor Quinn's leadership, Illinois enacted a strong new ethics code, campaign finance reform, and a new constitutional amendment to allow voters to recall a corrupt governor. When the Governor took office, Illinois had not properly invested in our infrastructure in 10 years. Within 10 weeks, the Governor and legislature partnered to enact the largest infrastructure program in Illinois history. In addition, Illinois achieved marriage equality and historic budget reforms, including cutting spending by more than one billion dollars, overhauling Medicaid and accomplishing necessary and comprehensive pension reform that Moody’s said “may be the largest reform package implemented” by any state in the nation.
The Governor's blueprint builds on the foundation laid over the last five years by focusing on jobs, education and fairness.
At the height of the recession, unemployment was at 11.3 percent and is now at its lowest point in almost five years, but there's more work to do, including:
In the last five years, we've made major progress in education reform. Parents are empowered with school report cards, teacher evaluations have strong benchmarks and performance is a priority over tenure. But there's more work to do. The Governor’s five-year blueprint for education starts where it matters most: in early childhood.
Today the Governor laid out an innovative Birth to Five Initiative that focuses on three keys to a healthy child:
A key component of the Governor’s five-year blueprint is to build the middle class, strengthening the economy and ensuring all Illinois residents have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and reach their full potential.
Today the Governor laid out a series of proposals that focus on making our economy work for working families. These include: