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QCA Illinois Legislators Explain Local Issues They'll Focus on This Session

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will give his State of the State address Wednesday as the state legislative session gets underway.

Local lawmakers say there likely won't be a lot of action this session because it is an election year.

However, legislators from the QCA said they have some plans in the works that would affect many people in the area.

Democratic State Representative Mike Smiddy (D-Port Byron) tells us he is looking at introducing legislation to help the financially struggling Hope Creek Care nursing home in East Moline.

As the Rock Island County Board determines what it should do with the facility that's estimated to lose about $9,000 a day, Rep. Smiddy said he doesn't want to pass the burden of supporting the home onto Illinois taxpayers.

"I think we've got a couple solutions that are going to be very viable in this upcoming session to do that," said Smiddy.  "And it's very important we keep that home a public home through the county of Rock Island to ensure our individuals that live over in those communities have the ability to go to that place and get excellent service and care."

Meantime, Republican State Representative Tom Demmer (R- Dixon) said he's feeling confident the legislature will pass a bill addressing the fraud that was discovered in Dixon when former city comptroller Rita Crundwell was accused of embezzling $53 million from the city over more than 20 years.

"There's some measures I've introduced that would improve some transparency in local government," said Demmer. " Especially when it comes to the audit process. And strengthen some penalties for those who falsify or commit fraud when they're in a position of public trust."

Another issue lawmakers expect to come up this session is raising the minimum wage.

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