CHICAGO – May 8, 2009. It has been 100 days since Governor Pat Quinn took office. During this span, he has focused on three major themes: Reform, Responsibility and Recovery. Today, the Governor reasserted his commitment to those objectives while stressing his Administration is ready and eager to accomplish much more.
“I am proud of my Administration’s accomplishments during the first 100 days, but this is only the beginning,” said Governor Quinn. “During the next 23 days, I am committed to three major initiatives: Landmark reform of state government; passing a fair and balanced budget and enacting a major jobs plan that will put thousands of Illinois citizens back to work.”
Here are some of the Quinn Administration’s major accomplishments over the first 100 days:
Restoring Ethics to State Government
– In his first official act, Governor Quinn signed an executive order establishing the Illinois Reform Commission. Headed by former U.S. Attorney Pat Collins, the independent advisory board has closely examined government’s ethics rules and practices. On April 27, the commission issued its 100-day report, which is serving as a blue print for much-needed reforms.
Passing a $3-billion Jobs Program
– Governor Quinn signed on April 3 the first capital construction program the state has seen in 10 years. The Jump Start Capital Plan
provides $3 billion to make critical improvements to roads, bridges and public transit. The Plan allows Illinois to take advantage of the first round of stimulus funding. Together, the Jump Start Capital Plan
and stimulus funds will create approximately 60,000 jobs. Working with the General Assembly, Governor Quinn is also seeking to pass the $26 billion Illinois Jobs Now!,
a program which will support 340,000 jobs.
Swiftly Responding to the H1N1 Flu Outbreak
– The Quinn Administration took quick and decisive action to mitigate the spread of the H1N1 Flu, ensuring that Illinois received and distributed its share of the federal flu medicine stockpile. In collaboration with Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon Arnold and Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Andrew Velasquez, the state notified citizens of the immediate threat, provided timely information on how to combat spread of H1N1 Flu and opened up a call center to help manage the public’s concern.
Reopening State Parks and Historic Sites
– Governor Quinn announced on February 26 the reopening of seven state parks closed by his predecessor. On April 23, from the steps of the historic Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, the Governor reopened eleven state historic sites closed last year. An estimated 44 million citizens visit our state parks and other sites each year, generating an estimated $790 million in overall economic impact in Illinois.
Maximizing the Federal Stimulus Dollars Illinois Receives
– Governor Quinn has taken swift action to ensure that Illinois receives the maximum amount of funds available through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Illinois ranks first in the number of transportation projects and the amount of ARRA dollars approved by the Obama Administration and was the first state to have a signed Memorandum of Understanding for high-speed rail. Illinois has also initiated increased services such as extended unemployment benefits and ordered of over 3.5 million pounds of food for food banks. To ensure transparency and accountability, the Governor launched Recovery.Illinois.gov
Making Tough Choices, Cutting Costs
- Governor Quinn on March 18 presented a $53 billion budget plan to the Illinois General Assembly for fiscal year 2010. The budget boldly addresses the state’s staggering $11.6 billion deficit and mountain of unpaid bills and puts an end an era of fiscal irresponsibility and mismanagement. Only two weeks after taking office, Governor Quinn ordered a series of government cost-saving measures. His directive reduces state spending; cuts travel expenses; defers major purchases; limits contract work; and restricts hiring.
Helping Working Families
– Governor Quinn has signed a number of bills into law to help working families in Illinois. In March, he signed Senate Bill 1174, which makes more uninsured women eligible for breast cancer screenings and treatment, and increases payments to doctors who provide these critical services. The Governor also signed Senate Bill 2513, which provides struggling homeowners up to a 90-day moratorium before foreclosure – giving families the time they need to refinance or figure out a payment plan before losing their home. In February, he signed Senate Bill 2757 to strengthen the Smoke Free Illinois Act, which will protect people in Illinois from the dangerous effects of second-hand smoke.
Installing New Leadership at Major Illinois Agencies
– Governor Quinn is putting his stamp on state government by appointing a team of vigorous, experienced and battle-tested directors at major Illinois agencies. Among his appointments are new leaders at the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois State Police, Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Department of Transportation. His appointments reflect his pledge to restore integrity and professionalism to state government.
Advocating for a Green Illinois
– A longtime environmentalist, Governor Quinn visited the innovative GobNob Wind Turbine in Farmersville and saluted the Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC) for its efforts to create the 230-foot energy-producing wind turbine. He also kicked off a major riverfront restoration project in Peoria. Governor Quinn signed an executive order to reduce the environmental impact of state government operations and an agreement to purchase 100 percent wind power for all Springfield state buildings managed by CMS.
Easing the Clemency Petition Backlog
- Governor Quinn is committed to easing the massive backlog of nearly 2,400 clemency cases left by his predecessor. The Office of the General Counsel is systematically reviewing every case.
Launching Fundamental Pension Reform
– Governor Quinn has signed legislation to overhaul Illinois’ major state pension boards by implementing necessary structural reforms and making the boards transparent and accountable. The Governor is backing an effort to strengthen the pension system by modernizing benefits and creating a uniform state retirement program for all new hires.
Repairing State Boards and Commissions
– Governor Pat Quinn launched Appointments.Illinois.gov
, a website that allows Illinois citizens to access information about members and vacancies in the state’s 300 boards and commissions. The website was created under an executive order issued to ensure appointments to Illinois boards and commissions are open, fair and transparent.
Honoring Military Servicemembers
– Throughout the state, Governor Quinn has rallied Illinois citizens to honor and remember our brave men and women in the Armed Forces by donating to the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund (IMFRF). The Fund has distributed $8 million and approved funds for over 14,000 applications from Illinois military families.
Protecting High Standards for Children’s Education
– Illinois is expected to receive $3 billion in education funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Governor Quinn has proposed using $2 billion of these funds to pay the remaining General State Aid payments to districts and ensure that education funding is not cut. In addition, Governor Quinn’s Fiscal Year 2010 Budget proposes to use additional ARRA State Stabilization discretionary dollars to increase education funding by $174 million. On April 14, Governor Quinn joined with United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at Andrew Jackson Language Academy to highlight Illinois’ strong investment in education.
Reviving the Historic Executive Mansion
– On February 12, the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, Governor Quinn revived the executive mansion by hosting an open house that was attended by thousands of Illinois citizens. Governor Quinn recently announced the “greening” of the mansion by installing light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and using rain barrels. On Easter, Governor Quinn hosted an Easter egg hunt at the mansion for children with disabilities.