This electronic newsletter is an opportunity for you to learn more about what we’ve accomplished in Illinois government, and how you can get involved. Whether it’s volunteering in a Serve Illinois volunteer project, receiving state services, or learning about new laws and programs, I want to ensure that you know what’s happening in your government.
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Exactly five years after taking office during an unprecedented triple crisis of government corruption, economic collapse and financial instability, Governor Pat Quinn delivered his 2014 State of the State, laying out a five-year blueprint for jobs and economic growth in Illinois. The Governor's blueprint calls for creating more jobs, making early childhood education a top priority and building an economy that works for everyone -with specific measures to get the job done.
On January 28, Governor Pat Quinn announced emergency actions to alleviate the short supply and high prices of liquefied propane gas and heating oil in Illinois. The actions make it quicker and easier to transport these fuels from other states into Illinois. Governor Quinn has issued a disaster proclamation to allow Illinois licensed truck drivers to travel through other states to obtain these fuels and deliver them to Illinois without applying for additional licenses. In addition, the tax for out-of-state trucks that use Illinois roads is being temporarily suspended by the Illinois Department of Revenue for trucks that are delivering heating fuels to Illinois.
On January 31, Governor Pat Quinn joined AT&T Illinois to announce the communications company’s plans to create about 200 new jobs across Illinois. The jobs include retail staff and technicians. The new jobs will be located in cities throughout Illinois, including Chicago, Aurora, Elgin, Buffalo Grove, Northbrook, Libertyville, Champaign and Springfield. AT&T currently employs more than 14,000 workers in Illinois. Those interested in learning more about AT&T job opportunities or seeking to apply online can visit www.att.jobs.
On January 19, Governor Quinn continued his drive to increase the minimum wage in Illinois to at least $10.00 an hour. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Governor Quinn stated at a church on Chicago’s south side that an increased minimum wage is a key weapon in the “War on Poverty” along with the Earned Income Tax Credit and decent affordable healthcare for all.
In Illinois a fulltime minimum wage worker makes $16,600 a year which is below the $19,530 Federal Poverty Threshold for a family of three. 60% of minimum wage workers in Illinois are women and some 600,000 Illinois women would benefit from an increased minimum wage.
On January 9, Governor Pat Quinn announced the state will appeal the decision made by FEMA to deny the state’s request for federal assistance to help local governments in Champaign, Douglas, Grundy, Massac, Tazewell, Vermilion, Washington, Wayne and Woodford counties from the deadly storms on November 17.
The more than $6.1 million in damage created by the tornadoes is short of the federal threshold for Illinois of $17.8 million, which is based on the state’s population multiplied by $1.35. Governor Quinn stated that his administration will work to develop a strong appeal that demonstrates how much the assistance is needed in the areas affected by the tornadoes.
On January 6, Governor Pat Quinn was joined by key state emergency officials to provide a comprehensive update on the state's response to the historic winter storm and freeze. Governor Pat Quinn implemented the State’s Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government Plans (COOP/COG). This inter-agency plan ensured the continuation of delivery of critical state response services during the severe winter weather conditions, while ensuring the safety of the state’s workforce.
The Governor also activated the Illinois National Guard to help emergency crews across the state provide assistance during the bitter cold and dangerous weather conditions, which included a hazardous combination of black ice and snow drifts.
On January 3, Governor Quinn opened more than 100 warming centers throughout the state to help Illinois residents cope with the bitterly cold temperatures this winter. The Governor urged residents to be cautious when going outside and to be aware of the serious health problems that can result from prolonged exposure to the cold.
For more information on how to best handle the cold weather or to find a warming center near you, please call the IDHS hotline at (800) 843-6154 or visit keepwarm.illinois.gov.
On January 14, Governor Pat Quinn joined EquiTrust Life Insurance Company to announce that the company will be opening new offices in Illinois that will create 200 jobs in the coming year and could potentially employ hundreds more in the coming years. EquiTrust will open their first Illinois office in Chicago.
For more information on why Illinois is the right place for business, please visit Illinoisbiz.biz.
For additional information on Magic Johnson Enterprises or EquiTrust Life Insurance, please visit www.magicjohnson.com or www.equitrust.com.
On January 14, Governor Pat Quinn joined Chicago’s leading hub for digital startups, 1871, in honoring 26 alumni companies for their astonishing success and impact on Illinois’ economy. Together they have created more than 300 new jobs and $10 million in revenue. 1871 has become an incredible resource for the technology industry in the Chicago area while at the same time creating jobs and growing the state’s economy.
On January 22, Governor Pat Quinn for the second year joined leaders from DHL Express and Pizzas 4 Patriots to send 10,000 Chicago-style deep dish pizzas to troops overseas in time for the Super Bowl. Governor Quinn stated that Pizzas 4 Patriots is a great way to help honor the troops by giving them a small reminder of home. The pizzas will be delivered to troops in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Oman.
On January 16, Governor Pat Quinn encouraged hard-working families across Illinois to apply for Illinois’ Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Last year the credit helped more than 900,000 families receive $160 million in tax relief. In 2012 the Governor fought for and signed legislation that doubled the value of Illinois’ EITC. For more information about the EITC, please visit EITC.Illinois.gov.
On January 18, Governor Pat Quinn joined the Serve Illinois Commission in encouraging people across Illinois to take part in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 20. Governor Quinn believes that one of the best ways to honor Dr. King’s legacy is by serving others. For more information on volunteering in Illinois, please visit: Serve.Illinois.gov.
On January 23, on behalf of Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) representatives joined Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and other public-private partners to celebrate the grand opening of Grove Apartments. Grove Apartments features 51 one-bedroom apartments for people earning 50 percent or less of the area median income (AMI), or $25,350 for individuals.
For additional information about Grove Apartments, please contact Interfaith Housing Development Corporation of Chicago (IHDC) at (312) 274-8200 or the Oak Park Housing Authority at (708) 386-6061.
On January 21, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced a new round of $6.1 million in federal funds to help low-income homeowners, including seniors and persons with disabilities, afford the necessary repairs to stay in their homes. The Single-Family Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation (SFOOR) program will ensure that 148 homeowners can keep up with necessary but costly repairs and will keep communities strong by stabilizing neighborhoods and creating local economic activity. The grant money will be available to homebuyers in May of this year.
For more information about the program, please visit www.ihda.org.
On January 12, Governor Pat Quinn saluted Illinois’s grain farmers for a highly successful 2013 crop production. Illinois led the nation in harvesting soybeans at 462 million bushels, 51 million higher than any other state and 20% higher than 2012. Corn production rose 63% compared to 2012, with more than 2.10 billion bushels harvested, the third largest in state history.
During the polar vortex earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) used social media to get the word out about the dangerous conditions. Safety is IDOT’s number one priority. It is critical to its mission to spread safe driving messages and alerts as quickly as possible when inclement weather strikes, to ensure the motoring public is informed.In addition to Facebook, IDOT uses other social media networks including Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube to help get the word out about winter weather and IDOT programs and initiatives. IDOT also has a free email service called “IDOT in Motion” which lets you select the IDOT news updates you want to receive.
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