Governor to grapple with many issues in State of the State

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Governor Pat Quinn will deliver his 2013 State of the State Address at noon in the state capitol.

The governor's spokesperson, Brooke Anderson, says Quinn will lay out an ambitious agenda centered on restoring integrity, prosperity and stability to Illinois.

Anderson says the State of the State Address will be about defying odds, climbing uphill and overcoming challenges. She says the Governor plans to clearly lay out all of Illinois' "unfinished business".

Republican Representative Mike Bost of Murphysboro is doubtful there will be any good news in today's speech.

"There are not a lot of positives he can actually talk about," said Rep. Bost. "We've got $9 million in unpaid bills so the question is - is it a State of the State or a state of confusion?"

Bost says the governor will likely touch on the state's recent credit downgrade, and how that could affect Illinois' future.

The bond-rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the state's credit level again, this time to an A- making Illinois the lowest in the nation.

A spokeswoman for the governor says Quinn will talk about inaction on pension reform and how that's holding the state's economy "hostage".

"The Legislature not acting on some form of pension reform is what caused our downgrade," said Rep. Bost. "We can't borrow. I don't know if our credit rating is good enough to borrow from a loan shark."

"It's going to have an impact on how much road construction we were going to do, and has an impact on our running of the day-to-day operations of government," said Democrat Rep. John Bradley of Marion.

Anderson says the speech won't be all doom and gloom. The spokeswoman says Quinn will announce new jobs projects throughout the state including efforts to ensure clean drinking water in some downstate communities.

The governor is also expected to discuss a ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines in Illinois.

"The governor will propose a common-sense, comprehensive way forward," said Anderson. "This includes making sure our hunters and sportsmen can enjoy our state's rich outdoor heritage."

You can watch the governor's address live today at noon on or on our Heartland Votes page.

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