Pat Quinn

Rich Egger

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is free to shut down the Jacksonville Developmental Center. A state board gave its approval on Tuesday, October 30.

Quinn's Department of Human Services issued a statement saying it's pleased  because the decision "…will help to improve the quality of life of people with developmental disabilities."

The governor wants to move JDC residents into smaller, group homes.  Some advocates agree that's best.

Rich Egger

Drivers will no longer have to wait for trains at one crossing in Galesburg. Amid much hoopla, the city dedicated and opened the West Main Street Overpass on Friday, October 26.

The project cost $16.1 million. The state provided $14.5 million while the federal government contributed $809,000 and BNSF spent $806,150.

Governor Pat Quinn flew into Galesburg for the ceremony. He quoted Galesburg native Carl Sandburg while pointing out the overpass will especially benefit future generations.

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said the state should pay down bills with the money it gets from selling a prison to the federal government.

Construction of the Thomson Correction Center was completed more than a decade ago, but the state has never had the money to fully operate it so the federal government is buying it in order to relieve overcrowding at its maximum-security facilities.

It's been appraised at $220 million, but Illinois agreed to sell it for $165 million.

Quinn said some of that money will be used to pay off debts related to the construction of Thomson.

Amanda Vinicky

The bidding is starting early for Illinois Republicans interested in campaigning for Governor. The issue of who will run was a main topic of conversation during the GOP’s national convention in Tampa. 

So many Republicans are considering it that at one point during the convention, Pat Brady, Chair of the Illinois GOP, joked about it.

“I do want to thank those of you in the room that aren't running for governor,” Brady cracked.

Rich Egger

Governor Pat Quinn is hearing both praise and criticism for his decision to veto a large gambling  package.

Lawmakers who pushed the gaming plan said he has been  unwilling to work with them. But Quinn is also getting a few pats on the back.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is one of the detractors. He planned to keep pushing to have a  casino built in the city.

The proposal Quinn dismissed would also have allowed casinos to be built in Danville, Park City, Rockford, and at an undetermined spot in Chicago's south suburbs.

Rich Egger

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's office is touting a one-page analysis claiming higher education will suffer if lawmakers fail to address Illinois' pension problem.

In the so-called study, Quinn's budget office estimates that state funding of higher education will steadily decline over the next five years.

The projections show more money would be needed to pay for university and community college employees' pensions, which would leave less for schools and scholarships for needy students.

The panelists talk about attempts by Chicago Public Radio to report on conditions at two minimum security prisons in southern Illinois.

Rich Egger

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn vetoed energy  legislation that critics say could have raised the price of natural gas around the state.

The legislation would have forced natural gas companies Ameren and Nicor to buy synthetic gas produced by the Leucadia plant in order to help pay for its construction. The plant was proposed to be built on Chicago's south side. Leucadia planned to use technology that converts Illinois coal into gas.

Legislation requiring all college dorms in Illinois to have sprinklers installed within the next couple years is one of four new fire safety bills Governor Pat Quinn signed into law.

The bill beefs up past legislation by instituting tougher penalties for post-secondary schools that don't comply. That includes a $1,000 per day fine if sprinklers are not installed by September 1, 2014.

Rich Egger

Democratic Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) support a proposal to shift the pension funding burden from the state to local school districts.

But State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) said there are good reasons to oppose the plan.

“It's a triple whammy for the districts,” Sullivan said. He pointed out:

1) Local districts would be burdened with the responsibility for a major expense.

2) State financial support for school districts continues to decline.