Governor Pat Quinn today joined President Obama at Hyde Park Academy to discuss the need to strengthen the middle class and prevent gun violence. The president laid out a bold agenda during his State of the Union address to drive job creation and economic growth, close the skills gap, raise the federal minimum wage and protect public safety. Governor Quinn laid out many proposals last week during his State of the State address consistent with the President's agenda.
"I strongly support the president's mission to strengthen the middle class and protect the people of our state and country," Governor Quinn said. "We must all be committed to driving economic growth in Illinois and making sure that gun violence does not threaten our children's bright futures. I look forward to working together across party lines in the coming months to find common-sense, common ground to make Illinois more prosperous."
Last week in his State of the State address, Governor Quinn laid out an ambitious agenda to put people back to work and strengthen the Illinois economy. He announced a partnership between the state, the University of Illinois and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to create the Illinois Manufacturing Lab, which will help better equip Illinois' workforce and make manufacturers in our state more competitive. The governor also proposed raising the minimum wage in Illinois to, at least, $10 an hour over the next four years to reduce poverty and increase local consumer spending. He also called for continued investment in transportation and public works, to create jobs and pave the way for more economic growth.
In addition, the governor addressed the need to end gun violence in Illinois by calling for a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as mental health reporting and common-sense public safety legislation that includes stronger background checks and new requirements to report lost and stolen guns. Governor Quinn also called for marriage equality to make Illinois a more welcoming place for all people. Yesterday, marriage equality legislation passed the Illinois Senate.