It's a subdued climate in Springfield, as Gov. Pat Quinn proposes what he calls "his most difficult" budget yet. Can the state pass the major cuts he wants even though legislators face reelection? We have a recap from Springfield, and then Carol Marin and her panel have analysis on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm.
Read Quinn's complete address in the PDF below. And check out the following story and video from PBS NewsHour.
Illinois Gov. Quinn Outlines State's Budget Priorities
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn recently sat down with NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez to outline his plan for building a stronger, more competitive state economy. In addition to job creation, the Democratic governor cited the need for continued pension reform and investments in infrastructure. He also talked about making tough choices in tough times, defending last year's unpopular income tax hike.
"That's never easy," Quinn said. "But it was important for our state to right the fiscal ship, to tell credit agencies that we are going to make hard choices, and make economies that were necessary."
To help get things moving again, Quinn said that unlike other states, Illinois would welcome federal dollars. He highlighted state plans to build high-speed rail lines from Chicago to St. Louis and from Chicago to Detroit, and the potential economic benefits. He was perplexed by the decisions of other governors to turn back the money.
"I think it's puzzling why they wouldn't want to take federal money to build something important that creates jobs today and really makes your economy work better by lowering transportation times, which is very important in Illinois," he said.
But with the federal government tightening its belt and the economic recovery still precarious, Quinn has a challenging road ahead. We'll learn more about his plans for meeting that challenge on Wednesday, when he delivers his 2012 budget address.
What are your thoughts on Gov. Quinn's budget address? Post your comments below or sound off on our discussion board!