Governor outlines programs aimed at growing Illinois - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Governor outlines programs aimed at growing Illinois' economy


Governor Pat Quinn offers ideas to grow Illinois's economy in his State of the State address.

Quinn proposed a tax credit for families with children, tax incentives for employers and increased funding for Pre-K programs and college MAP grants.

Quinn wants to offer Illinois employers a tax credit of up to $5,000 to hire an unemployed veteran.

"Most veterans have an unparalleled professionalism you don't find in many people nowadays," said SIU student and Afghanistan War veteran Sean MacDermott. "They have a fantastic work ethic and leadership skills."

After completing a tour of duty in Afghanistan and a full class load, MacDermott is getting ready to graduate. He says he likes the governor's plan to help employ Illinois veterans.

"Honestly though, if more employers realized the benefits they could get from veterans as employees, I don't think they'd need legislation like this."

The governor also offered good news to those seeking a college degree. Quinn wants to expand the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grants to help more students earn their bachelor's.

"Last year there were a lot of kids who were eligible but were cut off because the state had already used up all of its funds," said SIU President Glen Poshard. "That acts as a barrier to low income families."

Quinn also wants to increase the state's support of Pre-K programs.

Williamson County Early Childhood Cooperative director Linda Drust says she is happy to hear more funding may come, but she's more concerned that the state still hasn't paid a penny since the fiscal year started in July. That's left her Pre-K program $1.4 million short.

"There is the question, where is the money going to come from?" said Poshard. "The $50 to 100 million that'll go into early childhood and MAP grants extensions, we don't know."

Quinn also announced the statewide Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN). Quinn says it's one point of contact for Illinois families to find the information, legal advice and mortgage payment help they need to avoid a foreclosure.

Illinois has consistently ranked among the top 10 states in the U.S. with the highest number of foreclosures and Governor Quinn says that needs to stop.

Quinn says foreclosures not only affect the families that lose their home, but their communities and economy at large.

While Carbondale bankruptcy attorney Jay Howd agrees with so far he says he hasn't been impressed by government attempts to stop foreclosures.

"Information may help them, but it doesn't help someone to be given false hope," Howd said. "They're given false hope they can save their homes and sometimes they can't. I don't know about the Illinois program, but I'm quite cynical," said Howd.

The governor did not however say how any of those programs will be funded. we'll get the answer to that in his budget address later this month.

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