SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he hopes a bill that would kick-start high-volume oil and gas drilling passes "swiftly" through the Illinois House and Senate after a House committee voted to send it to the full House.
The House Executive Committee voted 11-0 Tuesday to approve a measure regulating hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" - the use of high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations deep underground and release oil and natural gas.
Proponents say it's safe and would create jobs in cash-strapped southern Illinois. Quinn has promised to sign the bill.
Opponents worry that fracking could cause air and water pollution and deplete water resources.
They favor a two-year moratorium on the practice, but House and Senate bills calling for a pause have been stalled.
Springfield, IL - AP - Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois has a chance to make history before the end of the legislative session this month on the issues of pension reform and same-sex marriage.
The Chicago Democrat says he wants lawmakers to approve an overhaul of the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis by the end of the month and send it to his desk. Lawmakers also have a proposal on the table that would make Illinois the 13th state to legalize gay marriage.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says House Speaker Michael Madigan's pension-reform plan deserves a Senate vote.
The Democratic governor said the proposal is comprehensive.
Illinois has nearly $100 billion in pension debt because of years of state underfunding.
Senate President John Cullerton has a different idea he plans to call for a vote Thursday afternoon. Public employee unions back that proposal.
The House approved the Madigan bill last week. It would require employees to pay 2 percent more toward retirement benefits. It would reduce annual cost-of-living increases for retirees and raise the retirement age for workers under 45.
Cullerton's proposal would offer employees a choice between health insurance or cost-of-living increases. He says it would survive a court challenge.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says income tax revenue for 2013 will top forecasts by $1.3 billion. He says he'll put the money toward the billions the state owes in unpaid bills.
The governor's office said Tuesday the money was a one-time windfall resulting from businesses and individuals selling assets or taking early dividends in anticipation of higher federal tax rates.
Quinn says the money is welcome but a one-time bump in revenue will not help fix the problem in the long run.
Illinois owes billions to businesses, charities and local governments performing some of the state's most essential services. The problem adds to the state's huge financial mess, which includes a soaring public pension crisis.
Quinn said Tuesday the focus must be on "restoring Illinois to full fiscal responsibility."
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says the Illinois House should act quickly to approve a pension-reform package because the state's economy depends on it.
House Speaker Michael Madigan's plan to increase employee contributions and trim benefits is scheduled for a House vote Thursday.
Years of state underfunding of pension accounts has left Illinois $97 billion short of covering future obligations.
The Democratic governor says the liability grows by $17 million a day. He says Illinois' economy won't fully recover until reform is approved.
But union representatives told a House committee Wednesday the opposite is true. Illinois Education Association President Cinda Klickna says cutting pension benefits takes away money retirees spend in local communities and especially hits teachers who don't have Social Security benefits.
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.
ILLINOIS (AP) - Another governor is trying to lure away Illinois companies.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott sent a letter to Illinois' top 100 companies this week asking them to buy a "one way" ticket to Florida. The Republican says Florida is undergoing "an incredible economic turnaround" and touts the state's credit ratings.
Scott also scrutinizes Illinois' high taxes, including a 2011 income tax increase.
His letter comes the same week Texas Gov. Rick Perry was in Chicago trying to poach companies. Perry says he wants to spark a competition between the states and has criticized Illinois' nearly $100 billion in pension debt.
Governors from Indiana, Wisconsin and New Jersey have made similar attempts.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has dismissed them as publicity attempts and says Illinois is a great place to do business.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says Texas Gov. Rick Perry's visit to try to entice businesses away from Illinois is merely "an escapade" and Illinois can compete with any state.
The Chicago Democrat took some jabs at Perry, who's in Illinois through Tuesday to lure jobs back to his home state.
On Tuesday, Quinn called the Texas Republican a "big talker" and pointed out his previous presidential campaign gaffes. Quinn says Perry didn't do well in the presidential campaign and he won't do well in Illinois.
Both governors were scheduled to speak Tuesday at a bioscience convention in Chicago.
A day earlier, Perry issued a challenge to Quinn saying his visit was about sparking competition between the states. Perry says Illinois' nearly $100 billion in pension debt is bad for business.
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.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan raised more than $800,000 in political funds compared to $565,000 for Gov. Pat Quinn in the first three months of the year.
Madigan is a potential Democratic primary challenger to Quinn. Madigan says she has not yet decided whether to take on the governor next spring.
Campaign finance reports filed with the state Elections Board show Madigan spent $77,000 during the first quarter and had $4.4 million in the bank on April 1. Quinn spent $119,000 and had $1.5 million on hand.
Among possible Republican candidates, businessman Bruce Rauner's (ROW'-nerz) exploratory committee raised more than $1 million and already has taken in $91,000 in large donations since April 1.
GOP Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROO'-ther-ferd) raised $300,000 and had $740,000 in the bank.