In his third State of the State address Wednesday, Governor Pat Quinn is expected to detail the state’s troubled finances, and his hopes for making big social and political changes
The financial picture in Illinois doesn’t look good. The state’s public employee pension fund is nearly $100 billion in debt and Illinois has the worst credit rating of any state.
But the governor is expected to try and put a positive spin on the state’s finances and call on state lawmakers to reform the pension system.
Quinn also is expected to propose open primary elections where voters don’t have to declare a party.
Gay marriage is also on the governor’s agenda. Quinn is expected to support marriage equality.
The issue already is getting a push in the state senate.
There was heated debate before a vote on a same sex marriage bill by the senate executive committee on Tuesday.
The committee approved the bill by a vote of 9 to 5.
Senate President John Cullerton now hopes for a full vote on Valentine’s day.
Another idea in Springfield could lead to a new tax on sneakers. State legislator Will Davis would like to see a quarter tax on athletic shoes.
The money would be used to help high school dropouts learn a trade or return to school.
But the idea is getting opposition from merchants in the industry who say the tax would only encourage people to shop online or out of state.
The governor’s address begins at noon.
A transcript of the Governor’s State of the State will be available on www.illinois.gov