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Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:58

Governor Pat Quinn wants to raise minimum wage

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to raise Illinois' minimum wage to at least $10 by Christmas of next year.
 
The Chicago Democrat who's seeking re-election campaigned on the issue in 2010 and mentioned it during his annual address this year.
 
The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25. Quinn said Wednesday that raising the wage will help eliminate poverty.
 
Illinois last raised the minimum wage in 2010. There's legislation pending in Springfield to increase it, including a call for $15 an hour.
 
However Republicans and business groups say raising the minimum wage kills jobs. Quinn says that claims are flat wrong.
 
Some business groups have also accused Quinn of trotting out the issue ahead of the 2014 election.
 
Quinn says it's not a new issue for him.
 
Published in Local News

   Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the state will build or rehabilitate nearly 1,500 affordable housing units statewide.

   The Chicago Democrat said in a statement yesterday the apartments will ensure working families, seniors and people with disabilities have quality, affordable housing.

   The work will be financed through a federal housing tax credit and the Illinois Housing Development Authority's Preservation Now program.

   Residents must earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income to qualify for the units. That's about $35,000 in the Chicago area.

   In Edwardsville, an existing independent living development serving seniors and people with disabilities will be rehabilitated, and a new wing built, creating and preserving 70 affordable apartments.  

   In Aurora, the state plans to acquire and rehabilitate 40 vacant single-family homes. In Chicago, a 106-unit development for seniors will be built on the site of an abandoned building and unused tennis courts.

   Units also are planned for the Bloomington-Normal area, Galesburg, Marion and Springfield.

 
Published in Local News
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 13:29

One of Governor Quinn's offices evacuated

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Officials say Gov. Pat Quinn's constituent office in Springfield was evacuated after an envelope with a "suspicious substance" was found.

The Governor's Office of Constituent Affairs is located near the state Capitol where lawmakers and others were gathered ahead of an expected pension vote.

Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the envelope was received Tuesday, the office was evacuated and necessary precautions were taken.

The Springfield Fire Department, Secretary of State Police and Illinois State Police are investigating the incident.

The agencies did not immediately return calls for comment Tuesday.

 

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has asked President Barack Obama to declare 15 counties in Illinois major disaster areas after tornadoes and strong storms hit the state last week.

 

Quinn also said Monday that state and federal assessment teams found the storms damaged more than 2,400 homes in Illinois. That includes nearly 800 homes that were destroyed.

 

State agencies continue to help Illinois communities recover from the Nov. 17 storms. Illinois Department of Transportation equipment and Illinois Department of Corrections inmate crews are working to remove debris. The state will have resource centers in the hard-hit areas of Washington and Brookport through Tuesday.

 

The governor's office says state and federal emergency officials will meet with local governments early next month to document storm expenses.

Published in Local News

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn added six counties to the state's list of disaster areas following violent storms and tornadoes on Sunday.

The declaration increases the number of counties needing state and federal funds to 13.  The National Weather Service has issued a preliminary finding that 11 tornadoes ripped through the state, with at least two designated as EF-4's.

The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms.

Volunteer efforts are also well underway to assist the victims.  Those who wish to volunteer should NOT go to the disaster scene, but rather, visit  Ready.illinois.gov  for information on specific sites that can utilize volunteers.

Published in Local News

   WASHINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's received a phone call from President Barack Obama after fatal storms hit Obama's home state.

   Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Monday that Quinn received the call on his cellphone while touring damage in the central Illinois community of Washington.  The community was among the hardest hit. The White House confirmed the call, saying Obama relayed concern and expressed gratitude for the responders.

   Quinn gave Obama an update on the damage, relief efforts and emergency response. Quinn was with Washington Mayor Gary Manier, who also spoke to Obama.

   Authorities say six people died in Sunday's storms when tornadoes flattened homes and caused severe damage. So far seven counties have been declared state disaster areas.

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn's administration wants lawmakers to approve $221 million in extra funds to spend this fiscal year. The request comes on top of the $35 billion budget the Legislature approved in May.

The Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises reports that a draft of the request includes $112 million to pay back wages owed to 25,000 state workers.

Another $40.5 million was requested for the Illinois Department of Corrections and $31 million for the Department of Human Services and state police to help implement the state's new concealed carry law. The state's Emergency Management Agency wants $6 million to help cover April flooding.

Lawmakers heard some spending requests during the fall session that began last week but have yet to vote on them.

 

Published in Local News

WHEELING, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's not discouraged that lawmakers came away from two days of their fall veto session without tackling any of the major issues on their agenda.

The Chicago Democrat says the days were valuable for discussion to "lay a foundation" on the state's pension crisis and same-sex marriage.

However, neither issue came up for a vote before lawmakers left town.

They'll be back next month. Quinn says that'll be the time to take votes.

A bipartisan panel has been tasked with coming up with a solution to Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension problem, but the panel has been stalled on a plan that would save an estimated $138 billion.

Meanwhile, advocates and opponents of legalizing same-sex marriage both held rallies this week in Springfield.

 

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Thousands of disappointed Illinois residents are expected at the state Capitol to rally for same-sex marriage.

   Organizers say several thousand people are expected to take part in the "March on Springfield" -a grassroots effort to urge the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in Illinois.

   The Illinois Senate approved the measure last February, but the measure has stalled in the House. Speaker Michael Madigan has said about a dozen votes are still needed.

   The event will begin with a noon concert followed by a rally at 1 p.m. and a 2:30 p.m. March. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn are participating in the event. The governor says he will sign legislation if passed by the General Assembly.

   Currently 13 states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

 

 
Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's pleased the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear his appeal of a ruling that found his veto of lawmakers' pay unconstitutional.

   The court issued its one-page order Wednesday. A hearing date has not been set.

   Quinn halted lawmakers' salaries in July.  He said they shouldn't get paid until they addressed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

   House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton then sued, arguing Quinn didn't have the authority to halt lawmaker paychecks.

   A Cook County judge in September ordered that legislators be paid immediately.

   Quinn appealed directly to the state's high court, saying his move was allowed through the state constitution.

   Quinn's spokeswoman says the governor will continue to not accept his own paycheck until pension reform is achieved.

 
Published in Local News
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