Pat Quinn


Spring session kicks off today in Illinois

Legislative leaders say budget items are expected to top the agenda in the coming weeks. Those items include the state's troubled pension system and Medicaid costs.

House Deputy Majority leader, Democrat Frank Mautino, says Medicaid reform could end up being more controversial than pensions. Mautino says payment cycles are stretching too long and that cuts have to be made.

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Last year Governor Pat Quinn vetoed the salaries for the 44 regional superintendents.

This month, the Illinois State Board of Education has put the appropriation for the officials back into its proposed budget.

Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents president Bob Daiber says he's hopeful the General Assembly will keep the funding line and the governor will approve it.

"We certainly believe we're making our case as to why we are so important as the delivery system of state services to public schools," said Daiber.

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky was used in this story.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will endorse legislation in his State of the State address next week that would raise Illinois' high school dropout age to 18, according to a statement from the Democrat's office.

The proposal would answer a call from fellow Democrat Barack Obama, who in his State of the Union address on Tuesday urged states to keep students in high school long enough for them to get their diploma.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed legislation on Thursday which aims to help law enforcement officials stop meth production. The bill will make a pilot program permanent that was created to electronically track pseudoephedrine purchases that could be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

The Methamphetamine Precursor Tracking Act went into effect in 2009. The act required pharmacies to track purchases of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine online through the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx). 

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Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Governor Pat Quinn announced this afternoon that he plans to close the Jacksonville Developmental Center and Tinley Park Mental Health Center.

Jacksonville is located about 90 miles north of St. Louis.

Quinn's office is calling the closures a "rebalancing."

The Governor plans to move institutionalized patients with developmental disabilities and mental illness to community-based settings.

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Legislation that's aimed at helping poor Illinois families keep more of what they earn is now law.

Gov. Pat Quinn on Tuesday signed the legislation that expands the state's earned-income tax credit. It's now 5 percent of the federal credit, would climb to 7.5 percent next year and 10 percent the year after.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is urging legislative leaders to name lawmakers to a group set up to reform the state's ailing pension system.

Quinn's letter to leaders of the House and Senate says he wants the panel to start working with a top aide on his staff to craft fixes for a system of retirement benefits for state workers that's underfunded by $85 billion.

The letter says it is "critical that we work together this spring" to make the changes.

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Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law pension reforms aimed at fixing some loopholes in the system.

The law takes effect immediately. It aims to end the practice of so-called double dipping for public employees. In some cases, employees took leaves to work for their unions but continued to build benefits in government pension systems based on union pay.

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Reporting from Amanda Vinicky in Springfield was used in this report.

Illinois officials are hoping to start online sales for the Illinois Lottery early next year.

The U.S. Department of Justice made public on Friday a legal opinion that supports state-regulated online gambling, such as lotteries. Illinois was one of the states to ask for legal clarification on whether the Wire Act applies to online sales of lotto tickets.

St. Louis Public Radio

One person put a stop to more gambling in Illinois this year.  Gov. Pat Quinn refused to go along with a package that would have added casinos, expanded existing sites and put slot machines at horse tracks.  

Illinois seemed on track for the biggest gaming expansion since riverboat casinos went in the water 20 years ago.  The General Assembly approved it.  But Governor Quinn blocked the attempt.  Quinn wanted less gambling in what was a huge package. 

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has approved legislation designed to keep key companies from leaving the state.

The Democrat's office announced Friday that Quinn signed tax-break legislation directed at Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

He did not take action on companion legislation that would provide tax relief for individuals and his office did not immediately say when he would.


Quinn and lawmakers reach deal on state facilities

A budget deal reached among Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and lawmakers will save seven state facilities and the jobs at those locations, at least for now.  The plan won General Assembly approval Tuesday.  Quinn had targeted a handful of developmental centers, prisons and psychiatric hospitals for shutdown after the legislature failed to provide enough money to keep them operating. 

Quinn’s budget director, David Vaught, says the deal to shift money in the budget is a better solution…

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Smoking opponents are back to the drawing board in St. Charles County

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Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn and the state's top four lawmakers have reached a deal to keep seven state facilities open until June.

Quinn had targeted mental health centers and centers and developmentally disabled, as well as a prison in Lincoln, for closure, saying the legislature had failed to appropriate enough money to operate them for the entire year.  The closures could have resulted in nearly 2,000 layoffs.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from WBEZ's Jennifer Brandel used in this report.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he won't sign any gambling expansion bill that doesn't meet his framework.

The gambling expansion bill was narrowly defeated by state legislators a couple weeks ago. Next week, lawmakers are back in session and may try yet again to advance it. Quinn says they shouldn't bother if it still includes slot machines at race tracks .

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

It's official. Regional education superintendents across Illinois are going to get paychecks again after more than four months.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Monday restoring the superintendents' pay.

Quinn eliminated their salaries from the state budget over the summer. He said the state needed the roughly $13 million for other services.

The superintendents and their assistants have not been paid since June.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The Illinois House approved a plan to pay regional school superintendents after Gov. Pat Quinn erased funding for their salaries last summer.

The House voted 74-36 Wednesday to use local property tax funds to pay superintendents and their assistants in 44 regional education offices. It would pay them for just one year.

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Will be updated.

An Illinois House committee has approved a new, smaller gambling plan that backers hope can survive a threatened veto by Gov. Pat Quinn.

It passed 8-2. Democratic Rep. Lou Lang says the measure could be changed even more before a vote by the full House.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Pat Quinn says he thinks Cardinal Francis George and other Catholic leaders "made a mistake" criticizing the governor for agreeing to present an award at a ceremony hosted by an abortion-rights organization.

Quinn on Monday said he wishes George would have contacted him before issuing a statement saying the governor was rewarding those who support "the legal right to kill children in their mothers' wombs." Quinn is to present rape victim Jennie Goodman with an award at a luncheon hosted by Personal PAC, which aims to elect pro-choice candidates.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn wants the "monkey business" of absentee voting by Illinois lawmakers investigated after the
Illinois House overrode his veto on legislation that will raise electric rates to pay to modernize the state's power grid.