CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today signed into law bills that create the $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! plan, which will revive the state’s ailing economy by creating and retaining over 439,000 jobs over the next six years. At a bill signing ceremony, Governor Quinn stressed this is the first statewide capital construction effort to become law in over a decade.
“This is a crucial economic recovery initiative that will generate what’s needed most in Illinois: jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Governor Quinn. “Illinois Jobs Now! provides many long-awaited improvements to our bridges and roads, transportation networks, schools and communities.”
Governor Quinn added that Illinois Jobs Now! will create many new “green” weatherization jobs, protect and improve the state’s fresh water supplies, and advance high-speed rail from Chicago to St. Louis, which will cut down on auto traffic and emissions.
“With Illinois Jobs Now!, our state rises to the challenge of building a viable green economy for the 21st Century that serves our people and strengthens our businesses,” said Governor Quinn.
During the signing ceremony at Marshall High School, Governor Quinn expressed appreciation and thanks to the leaders of the General Assembly for their important role in passing Illinois Jobs Now! The Governor also thanked members of the General Assembly, organized labor, business groups and community activists for their support of Illinois Jobs Now!
Also speaking at the signing ceremony: Chicago Mayor Richard Daley; Republican Senate Leader Christine Radogno; Republican House Leader Tom Cross; President of the Illinois AFL-CIO Michael Carrigan; President of the Chicago Federation of Labor Dennis Gannon; President of the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council Tom Villanova; President & CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Jerry Roper; CEO of United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) Juan Rangel; and Vice-President of Policy at the Center for Neighborhood Technology Jacky Grimshaw. (See attached sheet for comments of support.)
Governor Quinn stated that passing a major jobs and capital construction plan is a vital component of reviving Illinois’s economy. During his remarks, Governor Quinn again asserted that financing Illinois Jobs Now! program calls for stabilizing Illinois’ entire economy by passing a balanced state budget.
“Illinois Jobs Now! gets people back to work during a time of economic calamity,” said Governor Quinn. “But our job does not end with signing these bills into law. The General Assembly must pass a balanced budget that makes essential cuts and cost efficiencies, while also providing for our most vulnerable and needy residents.”
Illinois Jobs Now! program overview and local highlights are attached. A complete list of projects can be found online at JobsNow.illinois.gov