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Governor's Monthly Newsletter: September 2013 

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.

If you have ideas for improving any State service, program, or this very newsletter, please click here and let us know.

Sincerely,

Pat Quinn
Governor


Featured Articles

Governor Quinn Honors Illinois Workers by Fighting to Increase State’s Minimum Wage

On September 1, the Labor Day holiday, Governor Pat Quinn honored workers across Illinois by visiting Chicago’s historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church to continue his ongoing fight to raise Illinois’ minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 per hour. Governor Quinn made raising the minimum wage one of his priorities in his 2013 State of the State address and this visit further committed him to ensuring all Illinois workers are treated fairly and receive the compensation they deserve. In August, Governor Quinn signed three laws that fight questionable practices in order to protect Illinois workers’ paychecks. House Bill 2649, House Bill 923 and House Bill 3125 deal with the misclassification of workers and the attempts of employers to avoid paying state employment taxes and premiums.

Governor Quinn Announces Foreign-Owned Businesses Have Added Nearly 80,000 Jobs in Illinois Since 2009

On September 8, Governor Quinn announced that foreign-owned firms have added nearly 80,000 jobs in Illinois since 2009 when the governor took office, and there have been more than 450 new foreign company locations in the state during that time. Foreign direct investment in Illinois includes more than 2,000 firms that employ more than 350,000 people. Japan and the United Kingdom are the top two sources of these investments.

Governor Quinn Announces Illinois Breaks 100 Million Visitor Mark for the First Time

On September 5, Governor Quinn announced that Illinois has set an all-time record for tourism, breaking the 100 million visitor mark in 2012. International visitors rose 11.8 percent last year to set another new record and push the total to 101 million. Tourism in Illinois generated an estimated $33.5 billion and 298,700 jobs for the state’s economy, also new high marks for the state. This also marks the second year in a row that Illinois’ visitor numbers broke records and outpaced the national average of 5.4 percent, highlighting the industry’s vital contributions to Illinois’ economic growth, job creation and tax revenue. The record tourism numbers reflect Governor Quinn’s targeted efforts to showcase Illinois as a travel destination. In the past two years, Illinois has launched a new tourism marketing campaign; promoted Illinois tourism on trade missions to Canada, China, Mexico and Brazil; and worked closely with local convention and visitors bureaus across Illinois to trumpet the unique attributes of their regions.

Governor Quinn Celebrates Latino Heritage Month

On September 13, Governor Quinn began a month-long celebration of Latino Heritage by launching a website which includes a salute to a different Latino “Trailblazer of the Day” each day until October 13. The Governor’s website – latinoheritage.illinois.gov – offers a sketch of each Latino group’s history in Illinois, details the Governor’s successful trade missions to Mexico and Brazil, and explains the many services provided by the Governor’s Office of New Americans. Governor Quinn will also host an exhibit in the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago from Monday, Oct. 7 through Friday, Oct. 11 titled “Saluting Latino Inventors, Scientists and Innovators.” According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Illinois is home to more than two million Latinos.

Governor Quinn Announces Chicago Clean Water Project to Create More Than 300 Jobs

On September 6, Governor Quinn awarded a $25 million low-interest loan to the City of Chicago to be used to replace more than 18 additional miles of water pipes and mains throughout the city. This announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to drive Illinois’ economy forward and protect the environment in the future by modernizing Illinois’ water infrastructure. It will be funded through Governor Quinn’s $1 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative. The Illinois Clean Water Initiative provides a local economic boost across the state by insuring adequate water and sewer infrastructure for residents and businesses and supports an estimated 28,000 jobs throughout Illinois.

94 New Jobs Created in Northern Illinois

On September 19, Governor Quinn announced that several Rockford area businesses are expanding, creating 94 jobs in the manufacturing and health care industries in northern Illinois. Manufacturing firms Curtis Metal Finishing Company and HMC Products Inc. joined medical billing company Practice Velocity, LLC at its headquarters in Machesney Park to talk about the new facilities that will bring new jobs and economic growth to the region. Practice Velocity is creating 75 new jobs as demand for its medical billing software and server capacity grows. Curtis Metal Finishing will create 14 new jobs, boosting the firm’s Illinois workforce of 60 by 23 percent. HMC Products will add five new jobs to its workforce of 34 employees – a 15 percent increase. The state has added 251,000 private sector jobs since January 2010, when job growth returned to Illinois following a two-year period of declines during the recession.

Governor Quinn Pioneers Social Impact Bonds

On September 30, Governor Pat Quinn announced the next step in developing a cutting-edge partnership between Illinois, community organizations and private investors to provide better opportunities for at-risk youth. Illinois is the third state in the nation to move forward with Social Impact Bonds – a performance-driven approach to funding programs that solve pressing community challenges by investing in prevention.

Exploration of Social Impact Bonds, also known as "pay for success contracts," was recommended last spring by the Governor’s Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise. With the Social Impact Bonds model, governments team up with service providers and private sector investors to create and fund innovative social programs. Investors are repaid only when the programs reach specific outcome targets, achieving tax dollar savings. Social Impact Bonds spur evidence-based solutions to pressing community challenges while limiting the risk to taxpayers if a program fails. They represent a smarter way for government to do business, furthering transparency and accountability to ensure that taxpayer funds are not spent on ineffective programs.

For more information on Social Impact Bonds in Illinois, please visit http://sib.illinois.gov.

Governor Quinn Announces $36 Million Investment in College of Lake County’s Lakeshore Campus

On September 19, Governor Quinn was joined by school and local officials to announce a $35.9 million investment from his Illinois Jobs Now! program to build a major expansion at the College of Lake County’s Lakeshore Campus in downtown Waukegan. The $35.9 million investment will be used for an 118,000-square-foot project that includes a major new building and renovations of existing space. The project will allow the college to create a full-service Waukegan campus, expand academic offerings and create an academic focus on health care programs at the campus.

Governor Quinn Announces Mike’s Hard Lemonade Opens U.S. Headquarters Office in Illinois

On September 12, Governor Quinn and Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. announced that the premium malt beverage maker is opening its new U.S headquarters in Illinois, which will create 80 new jobs. The office will be located at Jackson and Jefferson Streets in Chicago’s West Loop. It is positioned to tap into the region’s substantial marketing talent and consumer product expertise.

Governor Quinn Opens New ADM Intermodal Container Facility

On September 19, Governor Quinn joined company and local officials to open a new intermodal container facility at Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) in Decatur. The intermodal ramp, located on 250 acres of land at ADM’s Decatur processing complex, offers direct access to three Class I railroads and close proximity to several major highways. The facility will enable businesses to tap into the company’s deep transportation and logistics expertise and provide a platform for economic growth in central Illinois. Furthermore, the intermodal ramp offers prime rail and roadway access for goods from all business. Illinois is the largest exporting state in the Midwest and the fifth largest in the U.S. Exports from Illinois rose 5.1 percent to $68.1 billion in 2012 after soaring 30 percent in 2011.

Governor Quinn Announces Green Infrastructure Grant Award Recipients

On September 21, Governor Quinn announced more than $5 million to invest in 13 communities across Illinois for green infrastructure improvement projects. Illinois Green Infrastructure Grants (IGIG) administered by the Illinois EPA are designed to support projects that reduce the amount of pollution running into Illinois waterways from storm water sources and reduce the risk of localized flooding. 2013 is the third year of IGIG and the program has previously awarded more than $9 million to 23 green infrastructure projects around the state. Included among the many improvements these projects have made are the installation of nearly 150 cisterns or rain barrels, 220 downspouts, 184 rain gardens, four green roofs, three urban wetlands and six acres of permeable pavement.

Governor Quinn Kicks Off Construction of Tri-State Tollway and I-57 Interchange Ramp

On September 5, Governor Quinn kicked off construction of a new ramp connecting northbound Interstate 57 to the northbound Tri-State Tollway (I-294). The project will dramatically improve access to Chicago Southland and will create thousands of jobs. The Governor was joined by local officials and labor representatives to sign the first steel girder for the new I-294/I-57 ramp, which is part of the $254 million first phase of an interchange project that is supporting thousands of jobs over two years. The first phase of the I-294/I-57 Interchange Project will create access from northbound I-57 to northbound I-294 and southbound I-294 to southbound I-57, including a new interchange at 147th Street. It will accommodate 76,000 vehicles per day, provide direct freight access to Chicago’s south suburbs, and save drivers $4 million annually in fuel consumption. The Tollway estimates as many as 110 workers are employed on the job site each day, and Phase One of the project will create or sustain an estimated 3,300 total jobs.

Governor Quinn Announces $4.5 Million Capital Investment in Classroom Addition at Morton College

On September 4, Governor Quinn joined school and local officials in Cicero to announce a $4.5 million investment from his Illinois Jobs Now! program to build a 10-classroom addition at Morton College. The college is the largest, two-year public Hispanic-serving institution east of the Mississippi River, and the new addition will help them accommodate a steadily increasing enrollment that has reached the capacity of the Cicero campus.

Governor Quinn, Magic Johnson Join to Get Illinois At-Risk Students Back on Track

On September 18, Governor Quinn joined forces with Earvin “Magic” Johnson to launch the NBA Hall-of-Famer’s new organization, “Friends of Magic.” The movement aims to provide at-risk students with the tools they need to graduate high school and have a successful future. Friends of Magic is a new organization that brings together a network of individuals, foundations and companies whose mission is to provide students who are at risk or have dropped out the resources and assistance they need to not only graduate high school, but the opportunity to build their future through educational resources, internships and real-world experiences.