Gov. Pat Quinn says the state is turning around its financial condition. In his State of the State address, the governor said it hasn’t been easy, but it’s happening. “Today we can tell the people of Illinois we’ve stopped the bleeding. We’ve turned to corner, and Illinois is making a comeback,” he said.
The governor delivered the speech within the context of a tough re-election battle. He laid out a legislative agenda that includes a minimum wage increase to $10 an hour, which he says will not only help minimum wage workers, but will also spin that money right back into the local economy.
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He’s also for guaranteeing workers two paid sick days per year, and articulated a “blueprint for the economy” under which he established a small business advocate and touted job training at community colleges and through the Youth Conservation Corps.
He also announced a desire to double the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which is aimed at helping poor Illinois families keep more of the money they earn. He says the tax credit should be increased over five years, eventually translating to an average of $100 a year per family.
He also wants to double the amount of money available in the Monetary Award Program for college students.