Story by 89 WLS reporter Bill Cameron
In Springfield this afternoon, Governor Quinn delivered his annual State of the State address to the General Assembly.
Governor Pat Quinn declared the State of the State "at a critical juncture."
He again called for action on pension reform, more gun control, and marriage equality, for online voter registration, open primaries in which voters wouldn't have to declare whether they are Republicans or Democrats at the polling place and raising the minimum wage over four years from the current eight and a quarter to $10 a hour.
Opponents say raising the minimum wage would cause small businesses to cut employees hours and jobs.
Lots of heavy lifting for the Quinn agenda, but he coined a new slogan for the job ahead, "With courage, hard is not impossible."
But with the governor's approval rating down in the mid 20s, it may take more than courage.
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is telling lawmakers that they hold the solution to solving the state's fiscal crisis, particularly Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem.
The Chicago Democrat says it's hard but not impossible.
He spoke to lawmakers during his annual State of the State address on Wednesday.
Quinn put his support behind Senate Bill 1, which was measure introduced last month. It includes parts of a Senate-approved measure along with the increased contributions and reduced benefits in the bill that failed to get a House vote. It's sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton.
Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded liability and Quinn called it the "toughest of issues" in the state.
However, he only made scattered references throughout his speech to the problem.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn wants lawmakers to recuse themselves from taking a vote or other official action if there's a conflict of interest.
Quinn included the proposal in his State of the State speech on Wednesday after discussing improvements made against corruption under his tenure. Both of Quinn's predecessors went to prison on corruption convictions.
Quinn says citizens should be able to trust their elected officials.
He says dozens of states have banned conflict of interest voting. The governor says Illinois should join them.
The proposal would also prevent lawmakers from representing a person or corporation where there's a financial or personal conflict of interest.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says it's time for Illinois to allow gay marriage.
The Chicago Democrat framed the issue as a measure against discrimination during his annual State of the State address on Wednesday. He praised senators who moved a bill out of committee earlier this week and says it's time to pass the bill so Illinois can achieve "full equality."
The bill's sponsors expect a Senate floor vote on Valentine's Day.
Quinn helped Illinois approve civil unions in 2011.
If Illinois approves gay marriage, it would become the 10th state in the nation to do so. Advocates say momentum in other states and President Barack Obama's support fuel their efforts in Illinois.
Some religious groups have opposed the idea.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is renewing his call for an assault weapons ban in Illinois.
The Chicago Democrat promoted the idea during his annual State of the State address on Wednesday. He asked lawmakers to move forward with strong public safety legislation. He says Illinois must prohibit the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Quinn says assault weapons don't belong in everyday public places like schools, shopping malls or sports stadiums.
He says lawmakers should also pass legislation requiring every Illinois school to practice active safety drills.
Quinn has pushed for an assault weapons ban since a deadly shooting at a Colorado movie theater last summer. He used his power of amendatory veto to rewrite a bill to ban assault weapons. Lawmakers rejected it.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has proposed raising Illinois' minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour.
He outlined the plan during his annual State of the State speech before lawmakers on Wednesday.
Quinn says nobody should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. The federal rate has been $7.25 an hour since 2007.
The current Illinois rate took effect in July 2010, when it increased by a quarter. The U.S. Department of Labor says only two other states - Washington and Oregon - have a minimum wage higher than Illinois.
A proposal to raise the minimum wage came up in the state Senate last year but wasn't called for a floor vote.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's fifth State of the State address focused on Quinn's successes on job creation, spending cuts and help for veterans.
Prepared remarks from Wednesday's speech made only scattered references to the state's massive deficit in funding its public pension system. But a need for solving the $96 billion problem ran as an undercurrent throughout the address.
The Democrat's annual State of the State address called for a tough new law banning lawmakers' votes on issues where they have a conflict of interest.
It also renewed a plea for a ban on sales of military-style assault weapons and wants county officials to better report mental health records of potential gun owners.
Quinn also sought a 20 percent minimum-wage increase - to $10 an hour.
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