Written by Amie Schaenzer
Gov. Pat Quinn voiced his support for gay marriage in Illinois, a minimum wage hike and tougher gun laws during his State of the State speech Wednesday afternoon, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Associated Press has posted the full text from Quinn's State of the State speech. Here are some of the highlights:
- Quinn said he would like to see the minimum wage rate increase from $8.25 to $10 an hour in the next four years, according to the Chicago Tribune.
- Quinn urged lawmakers to focus on pension reform, according to Reuters.
- Quinn spoke in support of a new law that would not allow lawmakers to vote on issues where they had a conflict of interest, according to WIFR.com.
- Quinn called for an assault weapon ban and also asked lawmakers to pass legislation that would require school's to practice safety drills, according to the Springfield Journal-Register.
- Quinn praised a bill allowing gay marriage that is expected to be voted on by the Senate on Valentine's Day, according to ABC7 Chicago.
Quinn also spent much of his speech touting his accomplishments during his term as governor, such as cuts to Medicaid and ethics laws that have been passed, according to Crain's Chicago.
Quinn has said he will run for re-election in 2014. If he does, he is expected to have an opponent in the March 2014 Democratic primary.
Quinn has gotten low approval ratings in recent months. A Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling survey released at the end of November found Quinn to be the least popular governor in the United States with an approval rating of 25 percent.
State Rep. Tom Cross, R-Oswego, reacted to Quinn's speech on Wednesday, saying Illinois residents need to know the governor's plan for bolstering the state's economy.
“We know the fiscal crisis Illinois faces," Cross said in a statement. "Now we need to hear the Governor’s plan for growing our economy – so that individuals, innovators and entrepreneurs once again have the opportunity to succeed. We must pass a balanced budget and meaningful pension reform to begin repairing the damage done by recent credit downgrades and the mounting backlog of unpaid bills. More jobs and a stable economy are the only foundation upon which to build a robust, opportunity-filled future for every Illinois family.”
Tell Us: What are the top issues affecting Illinois today? What would you like to see fixed in the coming year? Do you think Quinn chose the right priorities to highlight during his State of the State speech? Do you think he should be re-elected in 2014? Get the conversation started by commenting below.