PI Original Progress Illinois Friday January 30th, 2009, 11:45am

Quinn: The People Want A Government That Is "Aggressive And Progressive"

At a press conference this morning, Gov. Pat Quinn said "we have to understand that the people of Illinois want us to be aggressive and progressive."  Watch it:

Elsewhere in the press conference, Quinn announced that he had signed an ...

At a press conference this morning, Gov. Pat Quinn said "we have to understand that the people of Illinois want us to be aggressive and progressive."  Watch it:

Elsewhere in the press conference, Quinn announced that he had signed an executive order establishing the Illinois Reform Commission as an official state body and reiterated that he will be meeting with the state's top officials today to discuss how to get the state's financial house in order.  He also said that passing a capital bill in the near term is one of his highest priorities:

QUINN: We have a serious crisis right now in Illinois. We have to, for example, make sure we have a construction bill this summer -- a public construction bill to repair our roads, our bridges, to take care of our water needs.  Illinois is a state that depends on clean water like every other state. We have to make sure that we invest in broadband deployment, so that we have everyone in and nobody out when it comes to high-speed internet. So we have to have that bill passed right away.  And that'll happen I hope in the next few months and get the construction season off to a roaring start in Illinois.

It's great that Quinn will renew the push for a capital bill, but the big question is how much his version will cost and where the money will come from.

On the income tax issue, Quinn seemed to suggest support for a more progressive system: "There are opportunities, perhaps, to put important tax reform measures on the 2010 ballot.  As you know, I've done that in the past and I anticipate that may happen in the future."  Quinn was referring to his support in 2004 for a constitutional amendment that would have doubled the state income tax for those making more than $250,000 annually.  Bills to do just that failed to make it out of both the House and Senate last session.  We'll be keeping a close eye on any similar proposals this year.

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