Illinois Governor Pat Quinn laid out his vision for the state today in a speech before a joint session of the General Assembly. Illinois’ fiscal problems will be central in any policy discussions this year.
But Quinn largely ignored them… saying he’ll address rising pension and Medicaid costs when he gives a budget address in three weeks.
He took THIS opportunity to brag about his successes, and to introduce a rash of new programs … many of which focus on the economy.
QUINN “We must build and grow our Illinois economy like never before to keep Illinois moving forward.”
Quinn wants to eliminate a tax on natural gas … give parents a “Child Tax Credit” worth about $50 per kid … and gives companies that hire returning veterans a tax credit.
He’s forming an Export Advisory Council, and a network to help homeowners facing foreclosure.
He also called for greater investments in early childhood education, and financial aid for college students.
Programs House Republican Leader Tom Cross estimates will cost about a half billion dollars.
CROSS “We don’t have any money. All these things sound good. But we can’t afford them.”
Cross says the Illinois Quinn described … was a fantasy.