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Governor: Pat Quinn


Political affiliation: Democrat

City: Chicago

Marital status: No response

Occupation/Firm name: Governor, State of Illinois

Campaign HQ address: 676 N. La Salle St.

Campaign website: QuinnforIllinois.com

What is your campaign budget- No response

What are your top priorities for the state-

My top three priorities as Governor are restore our state's economy, stabilize our state budget and eliminate our deficit, and restore the public's trust by making our state government more honest, efficient, and accountable.

JOBS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Since taking office 19 months ago, my first priority has been and continues to be job creation and economic growth. To that end, I have supported and will continue to support well-conceived initiatives that bring jobs to Illinois and I will oppose ill-advised revenue proposals, like Rod Blagojevich's proposal for a Gross Receipts Tax, that are regressive and harmful to the State economy.

For example:

- My administration has expanded the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit for auto manufacturers, which has prompted Ford to bring 1,200 new manufacturing jobs to Illinois. We also used this credit to preserve 3,000 jobs at UPS.

- I signed the Intermodal Facilities Act, which is assisting with the development of the Joliet Intermodal Terminal facility that is expected to create 7,000 permanent jobs.

- I also support extending the Research and Development Tax Credit that will enable Illinois businesses to leverage the talent in the network of world-class universities in our state and develop greater public-private partnerships to achieve the technological advances that will provide jobs for the rest of this century.

I have worked with both large and small businesses to incentivize expansion and job growth in Illinois. In the past 19 months I have met personally with more than 100 CEO's and other corporate leaders to listen to their ideas about how to strengthen the Illinois economy.

Since January 2009, my Administration has put together 74 business investment packages that led to companies expanding, creating and retaining jobs in Illinois. In total, these projects will create nearly 3,300 jobs, retain 11,300 jobs and leverage $1.56 billion in private investment. And my Illinois Entrepreneurship Network has helped start more than 470 new businesses, provided access to nearly $360 million in new business capital, and helped Illinois companies secure more than $2.3 billion in government contracts and more than $425 million in new export sales.

I know that small businesses are the backbone of our economy. That's why I spearheaded a targeted small business job creation tax credit. This program will help create 20,000 jobs by providing a $2,500 tax credit for every job created by a small business with 50 or fewer employees.

I believe that targeted public investments in much-needed infrastructure improvements are critical to economic recovery. In April 2009, I signed our state's first comprehensive capital plan in 10 years. This plan is projected to create 439,000 jobs over the next six years through investments in Illinois roads, bridges, transportation systems, water projects, schools, community colleges, public buildings, and other high-priority projects.

My commitment to job growth and economic development in Illinois has--in addition to results--yielded accolades from business leaders around the state. Below are a just a few quotations from the last few months:

" [Governor Quinn] is on a roll, between the McCormick Place re-write, the pension re-write, the Illiana expressway and now a telecommunications act for the 21st century. These are the kinds of positive signs that many of us look for every day from our government, that show government leaders recognizing major issues and being willing to roll their sleeves up and take them on, and more importantly coming to a positive conclusion."--Doug Whitley, President & CEO, Illinois Chamber of Commerce

" With the stroke of a pen, Governor Quinn made Illinois an attractive place for AT&T to invest in broadband, wireless and emerging technologies. His leadership in broadband coverage and job creation cannot be understated."--Paul La Schiazza, President, AT&T Illinois

" We were considering moving to Indiana, which was also offering us an incentive package, or to Mexico, where we have a small warehouse and sales office￯﾿ᄑ The incentives we received from Governor Quinn played a major role in our decision to remain in Illinois and make the investment in our new property."--Michael A. Campagna, President and COO, Peerless Industries

" Governor Quinn and the General Assembly should be congratulated for enacting the Angel Tax Credit. Passage of this measure sends a strong signal that Illinois--always among the best in research--will take its rightful place as among the best in generating and attracting high-paying technology jobs."--David Miller, CEO, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization (iBIO)

We are on the road to recovery in Illinois. Although everyone would like the recovery to happen with the snap of a finger, I know that long-term recovery requires the step-by-step approach that I am implementing. Rash decisions, wild deregulation, and poor choices got us here, and I have put together a careful plan to stabilize our economy. There is no doubt that this will take time--which is frustrating for many--but a solid economy requires a solid plan and day-by-day work, not ￯﾿ᄑquick fixes' and sound-bite rhetoric. That's what I have provided, and will continue to provide as Governor.

STABILIZING STATE GOVERNMENT FINANCES

The most important means of solving our budget crisis is to grow the Illinois economy, which will generate more revenues for the State. That said, I fully recognize that hard-nosed fiscal management is a critical element in the road to recovery.

The Bush recession, compounded by decades of fiscal mismanagement, has created a situation that I am committed to addressing. I have reduced spending in the General Revenue Fund (the State's basic operating fund) by $3 billion during the past two budget cycles, which is more than any Governor in our state's history. To achieve these reductions, I have implemented budgeting by objectives and required agencies under my jurisdiction to achieve greater operational efficiencies and make tough programmatic choices. The Office of Management and Budget has also implemented performance metrics for state agencies and analyzed the effectiveness, efficiency, and long-term consequence of each spending decision. This process has required painful decisions to cut or reduce the funding for many worthy programs, but I recognize that it's the Governor's job to make these tough decisions.

I have cut the operating costs of the Office of the Governor by 35% in the last two years and, through a combination of unpaid furlough days, travel restrictions, consolidation or renegotiation of office leases, and negotiating with state employee unions, I have been able to achieve savings in the agencies under my jurisdiction.

Under my leadership, Illinois has further reduced its public employee headcount by 1,100, so that we now have the lowest number of state employees per capita of any state in the nation. We have also achieved savings by implementing furlough days for state employees, including me. State spending levels are also among the lowest per capita in the nation.

I have also succeeded in enacting historic pension reforms that will begin to yield immediate dividends in cost-savings to the State and will ultimately yield over $200 billion in savings over the next 35 years. Pension reform is perhaps the most critical element in the effort to achieve a balanced budget because mandated catch-up pension contributions have consumed a growing share of the General Revenue Fund and had to be brought under control.

In all of my efforts to cut spending, I have taken care to preserve the State's basic commitment to funding for education, health care, and public safety. As State works its way to economic recovery, I will continue to ensure that these basic needs receive adequate funding.

In the final analysis, I believe that the budget will be balanced by continuing to implement the five pillars of fiscal recovery: (1) creating jobs, (2) increasing revenues, (3) cutting spending, (4) strategic borrowing, and (5) additional assistance from the federal government. While preserving vital education, health and public safety programs, I have set as a goal the reduction of the State's accounts payable to a normal payment cycle in the first two years of my next term.

RESTORING PUBLIC TRUST

During the first 19 months of my administration, we have succeeded in enacting historic reforms in campaign finance, state government transparency, procurement practices, and the operation and oversight of public employee pension systems. We have also placed on the 2010 ballot the first-ever constitutional amendment to provide for gubernatorial recall. Through the use of my amendatory veto powers, I have also presented the legislature with the opportunity to implement open primary elections in Illinois, which will provide vital privacy protections to the exercise of the franchise and offer an opportunity to increase the level of political participation in the State.

Through these and other reforms, I believe that I have made significant progress in restoring the public's trust in State government after the nightmare of the past two administrations. I recognize that this process is never ending and I intend to continue to pursue further campaign finance reform, an end to legislative abuses, such as the legislative scholarship program, and efforts to give ordinary citizens the opportunity to participate in State government.

Lay out your plan to solve the state budget crisis. Be as specific as possible, including any recommended spending cuts. Given a massive state deficit, what areas would you prioritize for state spending- What can Illinois do without-

My plan to eliminate the budget deficit is composed of five pillars of fiscal recovery: (1) creating jobs, (2) increasing revenues, (3) cutting spending, (4) strategic borrowing, and (5) additional assistance from the federal government. While preserving vital education, health and public safety programs, I have set as a goal the reduction of the State's accounts payable to a normal payment cycle in the first two years of my next term.

The most important means of solving our budget crisis is to grow the Illinois economy, which will generate more revenues for the State. That said, I fully recognize that hard-nosed fiscal management is a critical element in the road to recovery.

Our national recession, compounded by decades of fiscal mismanagement, has created a situation that I am committed to addressing. I have reduced spending in the General Revenue Fund (the State's basic operating fund) by $3 billion during the past two budget cycles, which is more than any Governor in our state's history. To achieve these reductions, I have implemented budgeting by objectives and required agencies under my jurisdiction to achieve greater operational efficiencies and make tough programmatic choices. The Office of Management and Budget has also implemented performance metrics for state agencies and analyzed the effectiveness, efficiency, and long-term consequence of each spending decision. This process has required painful decisions to cut or reduce the funding for many worthy programs, but I recognize that it's the Governor's job to make these tough decisions.

I have cut the operating costs of the Office of the Governor by 35% in the last two years and, through a combination of unpaid furlough days, travel restrictions, consolidation or renegotiation of office leases, and negotiating with state employee unions, I have been able to achieve savings in the agencies under my jurisdiction.

Under my leadership, Illinois has further reduced its public employee headcount by 1,100, so that we now have the lowest number of state employees per capita of any state in the nation. We have also achieved savings by implementing furlough days for state employees, including me. Under my leadership, state spending levels are also among the lowest per capita in the nation.

I have also succeeded in enacting historic pension reforms that will begin to yield immediate dividends in cost-savings to the State and will ultimately yield over $200 billion in savings over the next 35 years. Pension reform is perhaps the most critical element in the effort to achieve a balanced budget because mandated catch-up pension contributions have consumed a growing share of the General Revenue Fund and had to be brought under control.

In all of my efforts to cut spending, I have taken care to preserve the State's basic commitment to funding for education, health care, and public safety. As State works its way to economic recovery, I will continue to ensure that these basic needs receive adequate funding.

In contrast, my opponent has refused to articulate a plan to fix our state's budget, telling voters that he will provide one after the election. Our state needs a governor willing to make the tough decisions necessary to fix our problems and having the courage to spell out his plans for the voters before the election, not afterward.

Do you support or reject increasing the state income tax- What about expanding the sales tax base- What is your view on taxing retirement income-

I support a one percent surcharge for education to insure that we make the necessary investment in the futures of our children and our state. The additional state aid to education generated by the one-percent surcharge would also enable local government to ease the property tax burden on homeowners throughout the state and ameliorate what is a very regressive tax on those living on fixed incomes.

Moreover, on average, the Illinois pays for roughly one third of the cost of educating a student, while most states pay for nearly one half that cost. This means that local units of government bear a significantly larger burden when it comes to funding schools, and that in our current system, the quality of an Illinois student's education relies heavily on the values of the homes, apartment buildings, and businesses in the area where that student lives. It is a significant contributor to education inequality in Illinois.

Given Sen. Brady's pledge for catastrophic cuts to education (over $1 billion), this problem will get worse if he has his way. Senator Brady's plan for education will result in 17,000 teachers losing their jobs and more crowded classrooms. School funding will fall farther below the current level, and local units of government will bear a larger burden of education funding--forcing them to raise property taxes to maintain existing curricula and extra-curricular programs.

While I strongly support the education surcharge, I do not believe the State should expand the sales tax base, or tax retirement income.

What is your view on state borrowing to pay bills, including to pay pension obligations-

Along with creating jobs, cutting costs, obtaining Federal aid, and increasing revenue, strategic borrowing is a necessary component of eliminating the enormous deficit I inherited. For too long, leaders in our state have chosen what is popular over what is right, and it has led the state to where we currently stand--delaying payments to businesses, schools, and social service agencies.

Opponents of these policies, including Sen. Brady, fail to mention that the state is required by statute to pay significant interest on many of these late payments. Rather than borrow at market rates, they choose to borrow from vendors by paying the statutorily mandated 12 percent annual rate on overdue bills. This inaction simultaneously costs the state money and hurts businesses, social service agencies, and schools.

The state last spring created a two-tier pension system. Would you go further by including new police officers and firefighters and by reducing benefits for current employees- Would you support making retired state workers pay more for their health care benefits-

The pension stabilization plan I proposed and signed into law last Spring will save Illinois more than $200 billion over the next 35 years. It was a crucial step toward restoring our state's fiscal health, by stopping the explosive growth of our unfunded pension liability.

I believe further changes to the state's pension system must be handled through the collective bargaining process. Well-respected judges and constitutional scholars have also pointed out that our State Constitution prohibits reductions in the pension benefits of current state employees.

How would you reform the state Medicaid system-

As Governor, I have taken concrete steps to contain and control the costs of providing health care, both to state employees and retirees and to needy Illinois residents who otherwise would have no health care coverage. For example, my administration is expanding a comprehensive Medicaid case management program for the Aged, Blind and Disabled population. This program will improve the quality and consistency of care for that population while saving more than $100 million annually.

Although we must find ways to make sure we provide health care more efficiently and affordably, I oppose any move that would reduce eligibility for Medicaid or limit access to needed care. Reduction in Medicaid eligibility would be harmful both to the people who depend upon Medicaid for their health care, and to our state's fiscal health, and it would cost the state much-needed Federal matching revenue.

My opponent believes we should increase use of health savings accounts, a plan he says would save Illinois $1.2 to $1.8 billion. Health savings accounts are often used with high-deductible plans--neither of these is an effective means of expanding access to health care. Of individuals who file personal bankruptcy, two-thirds file due to health care and, of that group, more than three-fourths actually have insurance. Women are especially penalized by high deductible plans: women have higher annual/routine costs, have higher annual premiums (excluding maternity) and, on average, earn less than men performing the same job. In short, our effort should be directed to making coverage not only more affordable but, also, more meaningful.

What would you do to facilitate job growth in Illinois- Is the money spent by the state to recruit businesses and offer tax breaks money well spent-

I was sworn in as governor in the midst of a national economic crisis. Since then, my number one priority has been to lead and to accelerate Illinois' recovery. While employment statistics show that the state has led the Midwest in economic growth for the first half of 2010, and that Illinois has greatly outpaced the rest of the nation in adding jobs, no facts or statistics are of any consolation to people in Illinois seeking employment.

My administration has worked with hundreds of companies to help them succeed--encouraging entrepreneurs and business owners to open, stay, and expand in Illinois. We have assembled 70 investment packages, drawing significant private investment and creating jobs.

In April 2009, I signed Illinois Jobs Now! into law--the first comprehensive infrastructure plan in our state in 10 years. The plan is projected to create more than 400,000 jobs over six years, targeted toward the hard-hit construction industry.

I believe that targeted tax credits are an effective means of creating incentives for businesses to stay, expand, and move to Illinois. This past spring, I proposed and signed into law the Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit, which will provide a $2,500 tax credit for every full time job a small business creates. This year, the credit is expected to help create 20,000 jobs. Additionally, my administration has expanded the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit, prompting Ford to bring 1,200 new manufacturing jobs to Illinois and to preserve 3,000 jobs at UPS.

The Illinois Constitution says the state has the "primary responsibility" for funding education. How would you make the state live up to that obligation-

Every Illinois student deserves and has a right to a first-class education. The quality of education in your community should not depend on your zip code or on how much property tax wealth exists in your school district. We need fair, adequate school funding, and we need to make sure all schools are held accountable. Toward that goal, I signed a bill establishing more public charter schools, to increase accountability and give our students more opportunities to succeed. In Illinois, it should be everyone in, no one left out.

I believe that the state can, and should, create a culture of life-long learning. In today's economy, jobs follow brainpower. I believe in investing in education, from preschool to elementary school to high school to community college through universities. For that reason, I led the effort to make sure that, even during the worst recession in our lifetime, we continued to invest in early childhood education. That investment includes $45 million under the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program for a new early childhood education facilities program. We also preserved funding for elementary and secondary schools, despite a dramatic drop in state revenues.

As a former community college teacher who taught night school, I understand the importance of community colleges. For many students from lower-income families, community colleges serve as the gateway to the middle class. That's why I led the effort to save MAP grants for more than 130,000 lower-income students, to help students continue their educations throughout this academic year.

How would you improve the campaign finance law passed in 2009- Would you support capping donations from party leaders during general elections-

I enacted the first campaign finance limits in Illinois history, which came about because of the Illinois Reform Commission I spearheaded. I have a 40-year history of supporting clean, open government, and am committed to transparency in the Office of the Governor and all levels of state government.

While the 2009 law was a good start, I strongly support future strengthening of our state ethics laws to make Illinois a national example of open and clean government. To that end, I would support capping donations from party leaders during general elections.

What is the long-term solution to fund the CTA and replace its aging buses and trains-

A reliable public transit system is essential for any major metropolitan area to function properly. I am committed to investment in our public transportation infrastructure. It is one of the best ways to improve the cleanliness of our air, the health of our citizens, and create jobs in Illinois.

To improve public transit infrastructure in the short and long-term, I recently invested $500 million of capital funds to the CTA, a measure that will also create jobs in the Chicago area.

However, to a large extent, the CTA's budget issues are related to budget issues faced by the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois. Until its fiscal solution improves, the state must invest as much as it can in transit, without jeopardizing its obligations to provide health care, education, and social services. During this budgetary crisis, public transit in Illinois must operate as efficiently as possible to avoid increasing the burden on those who depend on it.

Should the state play an active role in reducing global warming- If so, how-

I believe that government at all levels should work with the private sector to find new and effective ways to limit carbon emissions. We must look at ways to create incentives for carbon-emission reduction at the state level, and we must work to educate private industry on the real long term financial benefits of sustainable energy and pollution reduction. If it becomes necessary for the state to impose caps to meet our carbon emission reduction goals, then I will advocate doing so.

I strongly support incentivizing renewable energy. Under SB1906, which I signed recently, my administration has made up to $3 billion in guaranteed energy project financing available for qualified renewable energy efforts. The bill also provides guarantees to back qualified renewable energy projects such as wind, biodiesel or biomass initiatives that are related to agriculture. I am proud that this legislation will help continue to protect our environment while developing new green jobs.

My administration has also worked to incentivize wind energy production. Winergy Drive Systems Corp. and Siemens Drive Technologies opened a second plant in Elgin to manufacture components for wind turbine gear drives. The new plant--which received a Wind Energy Development Grant and other incentives from the State of Illinois--is one of the first in the state to receive LEED certification. Worldwide, the market for wind turbines is estimated at more than $2 trillion over the next two decades, so it is important to position Illinois now as an industry leader.

What is your view on gay marriage and civil unions-

I support civil unions for same-sex couples, giving them the same rights that are currently extended to married heterosexual couples. I believe that the civil unions bill is close to passing the Illinois General Assembly, and I look forward to signing it.

As governor, would you lift the moratorium on the death penalty or continue it-

I have no immediate plans to lift the state's moratorium on the death penalty. Although I support capital punishment when applied carefully and fairly, I am deeply concerned by the possibility of an innocent man or woman being executed. I believe the current moratorium gives the State an opportunity to reflect on the issue and create safeguards to make sure that the death penalty is not being imposed improperly in Illinois. It is not conscionable that an innocent person could be put to death in Illinois.

List your educational background

I received a Bachelor's degree in International Economics from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. I received my law degree from Northwestern University.

Please list civic, professional, fraternal or other organizations to which you belong

I started the Citizens Utility Board, and continue to support it.

Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government-

Cook County Board of Appeals: 1982-1986

Illinois State Treasurer: 1991-1995

Lt. Governor: 2002-2009

Governor: January 2009- Present

Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government

See my biography for the various positions I have held in state and local government during my career. Neither I nor members of my immediate family have any contracts with state or local governments, and I do not have any business partners.

Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed

See campaign disclosure reports of Taxpayers for Quinn and Quinn/Simon for Illinois on file with the Illinois State Board of Elections for contributors and amounts contributed.

Please paste a brief biography here

I have devoted my life to standing up for the working people of Illinois and fighting political corruption, government waste, and unfair taxes. In 1975, I founded the non-partisan, all-volunteer Coalition for Political Honesty. We launched the biggest petition drive in state history, ending a century-old practice allowing Illinois legislators to collect their entire two years' advance pay on their first day in office.

I was elected in 1983 to clean up the scandal-ridden Cook County Board of (Property Tax) Appeals. In the words of a Sun-Times editorial, I "fumigated, reformed and converted a once-corrupt office into a model for taxpayer service, access to records, and openness of process." I also served as Chicago's Revenue Director under Mayor Harold Washington.

In 1983, I launched the successful drive to create the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) - a statewide, non-partisan, not-for-profit group to advocate for customers against unfair utility rates. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $10 billion.

In 1990, I ran a low-budget, unconventional campaign for State Treasurer against a well-funded Republican candidate and won with 1.7 million votes. As State Treasurer, I created a program using deposits of state funds to encourage banks to offer loans making housing more affordable for Illinois families and giving women and minorities access to capital to expand their small businesses.

In 2003, I became Lt. Governor of Illinois and fought for significant new programs to protect the environment, expand health care, and assist military men and women and their families. I also continued fighting for reform, repeatedly defying Illinois' entrenched culture of pay-to-play politics and official corruption.

Since taking the oath of office as Governor of Illinois on January 29, 2009, I have worked hard to balance the state budget, create new jobs and new opportunities for Illinois families, bring fairness to our tax code and reform state

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