SPRINGFIELD - Governor Quinn
gave his 5th State of the State speech on Wednesday. Many lawmakers said they
are frustrated that the Governor didn't talk enough about what they call the
financial ruin we're facing.
Governor Quinn spoke a lot about his ideas for new programs and improvements, but it all comes back to one thing and that's the state's budget problems. He said he's investing in the people and putting employment first, but local lawmakers said his priority needs to be the public pension system, which is costing the state $17 million a day.
It's no secret the state of Illinois is coming in last. Governor Quinn addressed the General Assembly Wednesday, bringing up a series of social issues.
He says he's calling on lawmakers to give the people greater access to health care. He's also asking for support to tighten the state's gun laws. Quinn said, "We must prohibit the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines in Illinois."
Another point - He's pushing to raise the minimum wage to up to $10 over the course of four years.
A change that is already on the way is marriage equality. Quinn said, "It's time to take that next step in achieving full marriage equality. Marriage equality is coming to Illinois."
The Governor spoke a lot about improvements he'd like to see and visions for the state but one thing local lawmakers said he was lacking - an emphasis on the state's financial crisis.
State Representative for the 105th district Dan Brady said, "Quite frankly, the speech really should have reflected more of the stress of the state of Illinois. When we talk about the unemployment that's creeping up and the debt that we have of over nine billion dollars of unpaid bills in this state."
State Representative for the 92nd district Jehan Gordon-Booth said, "It was very visionary in terms of things he'd like to do but none of that is going to be possible because everything he talked about in that speech requires additional dollars."
Lawmakers said the pension crisis needs to be number one, with a solid plan that is not only fair, but it's sustainable.
State Senator for the 46th district Dave Koehler said, "It's very clear we have to do something this year and we can no longer sustain a pension system that's going to run out of money."
State Senator for the 37th district Darin LaHood said, "I almost equate it to when your house is on fire you have to put it out first, before you start adding on a new addition and all the things the Governor talked about today, minimum wage, new roads, clean water, those are great things but we got to put out the fire first and that's our pension system."