Gov. Quinn Gives State of State - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Gov. Quinn Gives State of State

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Today Governor Quinn spoke on a whole range of issues in his fifth ‘State of the State' address,   from education and pension reform to jobs, the economy and healthcare.  

But his big focus was jobs for Illinois. 

The governor says in the last four years, 28,000 jobs have been created by clean water projects in Illinois and more than half a million jobs from construction projects. 

But Quinn says there's still a lot of work to do. He says thousands of jobs have been created by projects like 'Illinois Jobs Now': "Between that and our toll way initiative, we've been investing $43 billion to build and strengthen our infrastructure," Quinn says.

But he says we need to keep that momentum going.

"Let's enact House Bill 190 without delay and keep creating construction jobs," Quinn says. 

The governor says other groups, like vets, still need help finding work.  

"That's why this morning I signed an executive order that directs our licensing agencies to assess military training for state license requirements," Quinn says. 

According to the governor, 140,000 jobs are unfilled because potential employees aren't being trained with the right skills for those jobs.  

"So we're closing this ‘skills gap,'" Quinn says, "Over the past year, we've trained thousands of workers for jobs in high-demand industries like healthcare, manufacturing and construction."

Quinn also urged legislators to raise the minimum wage to ten dollars an hour, something the Illinois Retail Merchants Association says will only eliminate jobs, cut staff hours and increase prices. 

But the governor says this and pension reform are the key to a successful future for Illinois, urging lawmakers to get moving on all these issues.  

"This is a choice about whether we'll make the tough decisions necessary to balance our budget, or whether we will let our jobs, our safety, and our schools be squeezed out by skyrocketing pension costs," Quinn says.