(CBS) — Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will give his State of the State address and this year it has a dual purpose, serving as the kick-off for the Governor’s re-election campaign.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports we’ll hear from a Governor who claims to have rescued a state facing a fiscal and moral abyss, now poised to move forward increasing opportunity for those who’ve been ignored.
At the Governor’s mansion Tuesday night, Pat Quinn put the finishing touches on a speech aides say he’s been working on for weeks, one which will focus, we’re told, on opportunity, the middle class, and education.
Last year’s State of the State was all about pension reform, which now has Quinn in trouble with organized labor.
“We think the governor was wrong. We think he shouldn’t have signed it and we will fight it vigorously in the courts. If there are other things that he is doing we like, we will applauded what we like but we will fight what everything the diminishing of pensions,” said Henry Bayer of the AFSME.
But Bayer denies Monday’s court filing to block pension reform was meant to overshadow the speech, which we’ve learned, will propose a New Early Childhood Education program, doubling the State Earned Income Tax credit for low income workers and a five year jobs plan to put more people to work.
Quinn repeatedly talks about all the jobs he’s created, but as the Illinois Republican Party points out, Illinois still has an 8.6 percent unemployment rate, third worst in the nation. And since Quinn took office, Illinois lost 93,000 jobs.
Most observers believe he, like the President, will make another run at boosting the minimum wage.
“It is helpful to make sure that people that work full time don’t raise their children in poverty but raise their children in the middle class,” said Emanuel.
“Increasing the minimum wage is a good thing to get full time workers into the middle class,” said Rahm Emanuel.
While Quinn will talk about how he’s cut over a billion dollars from the state’s annual spending, he’ll also have to explain how he’ll come up with the money for those new tax credits as well as his early education initiative.