State of the State: Governor says Illinois is on comeback

By Denise Jackson

January 29, 2014 Updated Jan 29, 2014 at 11:17 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.-- In his state of the state address Wednesday, Governor Pat Quinn said Illinois is making a comeback.

He said in the five years since he took office, the long hard process of restoring fiscal stability rebuilding is underway.

Quinn outlined five areas in his blueprint for recovery. They include increasing job growth by reducing start up fees for small businesses, enhancing the workforce and adding more college scholarships.

Quinn also wants to improve early childhood education, raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 and continue earned income tax credits for families.

"Our minimum wage workers are doing hard work they're putting in long hours yet in too many instances they are living in poverty. That's not right, that's not an Illinois value, that's not a fair shake," he said.

But some state legislators were less than enthusiastic about Quinn's address.

"We've seen the method of spending, taxing borrowing, and what I'd like to see is create some predictability in the tax rates," said Republican Senator Jason Barickman.

"I think there are some changes that have been made for the better. I think we have a ways to go before we get Illinois in the position that it should be in," said Democratic Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth.

"I would have greatly preferred to hear a message about how we were going to unleash businesses to grow our state out of this mess," said Republican Representative Dave Leitch.

Representative Keith Sommer took a "wait and see" approach.

"People I talk to back home want us to work together and be positive. So that proposal for a small business advocate, I like that," he said.

If some state legislators did not hear discussion on topics they wanted, Governor Quinn will have another opportunity in his annual budget address next month.

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