tv [untitled] February 24, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm EST
serious matters during my budget address three weeks from today. we must always remember that strong economic growth is essential to resolving our financial challenges. cuts alone will not get us to a better budget. we must build and grow our illinois economy like never before. to keep illinois moving forward. [ applause ] in the past three years, we worked together to strengthen our economy and make illinois a better place to do business. we reformed our workers' compensation system. the reforms we put in place will put safety in the program and save $500 million every year. we reformed our unemployment insurance system. we preserved benefits for
unemployed workers while saving businesses $400 million. we cut red tape for permits. we worked with our union partners to overhaul workplace rules at mccormick place. to lower the cost of conventions. new conventions are picking illinois and putting our people to work. in each of these landmark reforms shows the power of bringing everyone to the table to repair broken systems. that's moving forward but we just begun. [ applause ] we've not just made illinois a better place to do business, we've also invested in our public works. our highways, our bridges, our railroads, our schools to make illinois stronger. we created good paying jobs while laying the foundation for future growth. thanks to our illinois jobs now
plan, illinois has the largest capital construction program in our history. and over the past three years, we have been building, repairing and modernizing. every day you see the fruits of our labor all across illinois. we improved 5,948 miles of highways and 842 bridges. in southern illinois, we are building new lanes on route 13. in rockford, we are building a new morgan street bridge. in east peoria, we are building technology boulevard. we have built and renovated more than 400 schools from western illinois university riverfront campus in moline to siu in carbondale to the repurposes cole hall in dekalb to the
engineering building in the university of illinois in urbana. we invested in 40 transportation projects. we are working with rahm emanuel. we are working with rockford mayor to build new passenger rail from chicago to rockford. we are working with elected officials in the south suburbs and in will county to build a new airport. [ applause ] and we're building high speed rail from chicago to st. louis and a new bridge across the mississippi river. [ applause ] all of these projects and many, many more have created thousands of jobs. i want to say thank you to the men and women of illinois who are doing this hard work. here in illinois, unlike other states in the midwest, we
believe in the right of working people to organize. [ applause ] the hard work of our men and women is why illinois is moving forward. and speaking of hard work, i would like to salute our secretary of state jesse white. for the first time in history, we kept fatalities on the illinois highways below 1,000 for three consecutive years. thank you, secretary white. [ applause ] there's a passage in scripture, if you save one life, you save the whole world.
and i want to thank secretary white for his commitment to highway safety and to saving lives. we all know that automobiles are essential to life in illinois and to the success of our economy. our automakers and their suppliers are thriving today because state government rose to the occasion and helped meet their needs. three years ago, the ford plant on the south side of chicago had one shift. in 2010, ford added a second shift. now they have started to hire for a third shift. thank you, ford! [ applause ] tomorrow, i'm traveling to the chrysler plant in belvedere to announce the creation of hundreds of new jobs to manufacture the new 21st century dodge dart.
thank you, chrysler! [ applause ] the reason that ford and chrysler are creating new jobs right here is because of our skilled work force. illinois is not only the land of skilled workers, it is also the land of creative entrepreneurs. people like carrie gibson and her company. vintage tech recyclers in romeoville. we helped carry and grow her recycling business from one person to 77 employees. thank you, carrie gibson. [ applause ] illinois is also a land of technology. we are in the process of laying 4,100 miles of new broadband
fiber-optic cable to light up 5,000 of our schools and businesses and hospitals with a world-class information network. we started illinois first venture fund to encourage investors to jump in to the cutting-edge technology. we renewed the research tax credit which helps businesses bring new ideas to market. our innovation council launched an information data initiative which has made more than 5,200 data sets available online. we are going to lead the nation in putting more public data online in one place from communities and universities across our state. already young innovators have designed smartphone apps using our data to help every day people. both of them are here today. i want to thank torra and
elizabeth for your innovation and creativity. please stand up. [ applause ] we're going to continue to think big in illinois. today, i'm announcing a $2.3 million investment in 1871. that's a new technology center at the merchandise mart in chicago to foster and launch digital start ups. today, i'm also announcing a $6 million statewide competition to build ultra high speed broadband in neighborhoods across illinois. for this challenge, we want our neighborhoods to become gigabyte communities. with connections more than 100 times faster than today.
our goal is to build smart communities that will foster jobs for the future. illinois is a leader in green technology. we lead the nation in operating wind turbines with 404 and we're still growing. we believe in wind. [ applause ] we're also working with argon national laboratory, the university of illinois, the university of chicago and northwestern university to develop the next generation of energy efficient batteries. as we foster innovation and the industries of the future, we also increased export opportunities for illinois businesses to move their goods into new global markets. the illinois economy is the 18th largest in the world. our state has tremendous potential to grow a whole lot more. we aggressively pursued export
opportunities from our mighty agriculture to our mighty manufacturing. a quarter of our soybean crop is sold to just one country. china. illinois farmers are feeding china's new middle class. thank you, agriculture and thank you, illinois farmers. [ applause ] our manufacturers like john deere and caterpillar. caterpillar's sales were record-breaking last year. the largest percentage increase in the last 64 years. a lot of it was driven by foreign demand for caterpillar products made by illinois workers. we out to thank caterpillar and
thank those workers. thank you. [ applause ] more exports to more foreign markets means more jobs for more illinois workers. our exports have jumped 30% this year. almost double the national average. and today, to strengthen that growth, we are announcing an export advisory council made up of private sector leaders and chaired by navastar's ceo. this will help our goal by doubling our exports by 2014. they added more than 500 new jobs and employed more than 2,000 union construction workers to renovate its new corporate headquarters in lyle, illinois. since 2010, employers like navastar have helped add almost
1,000 jobs to our economy. illinois businesses have created almost 20,000 manufacturing jobs during this time. u.s. news and world report placed illinois in the top five business-friendly states that are gaining business. [ applause ] career builder has ranked illinois as one of the top ten states to find a job. last year, "money" magazine rated illinois for the top state of making a living. that's moving forward. that's good. we want to keep that going. [ applause ] and definitely in this age of big money and corporations, we can't overlook the millions of illinois consumers who need advocates looking out for them. i want to thank lisa madigan for
helping us in the never-ending battle. thank you, lisa. [ applause ] i think we all believe in fighting for the moms and dads and children of illinois. and that's why for the first time in a decade we significantly increase tax relief for working families. thank you, barbara flynn curly and thank you senator dwight hutchinson. you helped get the job done with your colleagues. [ applause ] by doubling the value of the illinois earned income tax credit and improving the personal exemption, we are providing targeted tax relief to 1 million working families and their children. people like rhonda jones. rhonda is a single mom raising
five children on the south side of chicago. she works as a public high school counselor for a modest salary. she knows what it's like to live from paycheck to paycheck. year after year, the federal and state earned income tax credit has been her saving grace. she uses that extra money to help pay bills and support her kids through school. three of her children are now in college and two more are on the way. thank you, rhonda. thank you for being a great person. [ applause ] from the moment i took office, my goal has been to advance education for everyone. that's why we passed landmark education laws that are a model for the entire nation. laws that improve school report cards so parents have more information about the schools
that educate their kids. laws that set clear benchmarks for teacher evaluation and put performance above tenure. laws that lay the ground work for a longer school day and a longer school year. our education reforms put the children of illinois first. that's moving forward and i want to thank senator kim lightford and linda chapel and many more who helped lead this effort. [ applause ] we also took a big step forward by passing the illinois dream act. to help immigrant families. in the years to come, more kids will go to college. more kids will chase their dreams. more kids will grow up to be illinois residents who work hard and contribute to society because of the dream act. i think it is very important
that we understand that we all have a stake in the future of illinois. indeed, we are custodians of that future. we owe it to the next generation to continue our progress of the past three years. to create jobs and grow our economy, we must continue to invest in illinois and help every day people. with this in mind, i'm proposing the illinois jobs agenda for 2012 so we can build and grow our economy today and tomorrow. the illinois jobs agenda includes three targeted tax cuts that will help build and grow our economy by helping our employers and helping our working families and helping our veterans. first, i propose that we permanently abolish the natural gas utility tax in illinois. this is a tax that is unfair.
it is regressive. it is not based on the ability to pay. regardless of income or whether or not you are are making a profit, you pay this tax. by abolishing it all together, we can provide targeted tax relief to both consumers and businesses. the elimination of this tax will save money for our households and cut costs for our employers all across illinois. illinois will be the only state in the midwest without a natural gas utility tax on manufacturers and retailers and on every stay families. in addition, we need to establish a child credit in illinois for parents raising children. there is no more important mission in life than raising a child. investing in our families is good for illinois. the illinois child tax credit will provide $100 of direct tax
relief every year to the typical family of four. this targeted tax relief will stimulate consumer demand which is 70% of our economy. it will create jobs for our local merchants. finally, we must adopt a tax credit that helps our veterans find employment. unemployment for young returning veterans in our country is 30%. that's shameful. our military men and women are heroes who have served our country and they deserve our everlasting gratitude. veterans are committed, disciplined and experienced. they know leadership and how to accomplish a mission. we need these heroes in our workplaces. so today i'm proposing a hiring veterans tax credit. we will provide a significant tax credit for every unemployed veteran of iraq and afghanistan
that a company hires. this tax credit will help businesses create jobs and give those jobs to veterans who have sacrificed so much in serving our state and serving our country. [ applause ] the illinois jobs agenda will also move our state forward by investing in education. the best economic tool a state can have is a strong, innovative jobs system. jobs follow brain power. i want to thank our lieutenant governor sheila simon for doing an outstanding job. she visited all of the 48 community colleges. she reviewed the reforms that need to be implemented this
year. sheila and i have a mission. by 2025, we want at least 60% of adults to have a college degree, an associate degree or a career certificate. right now, we're at 43%. that's better than the national average, but it's not good enough. if we want 60% of illinois adults to have a meaningful career certificate or a degree by 2025, we must invest in our students from birth to higher ed. and that starts with investing more dollars in early childhood education. learning begins at birth. in those first years of a child's life are the most important. our youngest and our most vulnerable citizens need our strongest support.
research has shown that without an early childhood learning foundation, children fall behind in school. illinois, we can't leave our youngest behind. and that's why i'm calling for a major investment in early childhood education this year. we've got to do it. last week our president, president obama, called for states to raise the minimum attendance age of students in school to 18. president obama, we hear you in illinois. we know how important it is to do everything possible to keep our kids in school to earn that diploma. that's why we must answer the president's call. we must raise the minimum school attendance age to 18 and we must work together this session to do it. we can do it. now --
now, in a time when student loan debt in our country is more than credit card debt, too many deserving students don't have access to higher education. and while nearly 150,000 illinois students received state map scholarships last year to attend college, just as many qualified applicants were denied because of lack of funding. so today, i ask the members of the general assembly to invest in our students. i urge you to act in the continuing year to make a significant investment in more state map scholarships to help our bright young students attend college. we cannot leave our high school graduates unprepared to compete
for the jobs in the future. and our students won't be prepared for college or 21st century jobs in we don't educate them in 21st century school buildings so i call today for a major investment in our classrooms. this investment will create jobs now. and upgrade our classrooms with modern labs, smart technology, digital books, high-speed internet access and 21st century efficiency. these investments in our students will keep illinois moving forward. illinois -- the illinois jobs agenda for this year includes a commitment to affordable housing, which is vital to our economic recovery. while we have helped thousands of families stay in their homes and find affordable housing, we must do more.
so today we're launching the illinois foreclosure prevention network to connect struggling homeowners with every resource available from counseling to legal assistance to mortgage relief. in the coming week, i'll join with cook county board president tony preckwingcal to talk about moving the vacant properties to good use. we have to move forward on clean water. clean water is the life bed of our people and economies and illinois is messed with abundant water from lake michigan to the illinois river to the mighty mississippi. but many illinois residents are living with aging water mains that are nearly 100 years old. and scores of waste water treatment facilities are in dire need of repair. the illinois jobs agenda for 2012 will put thousands of
people to work, replacing broken water mains. building treatment plants, upgrading sewers and cleaning up environmental threats. we're going to be working with mayors from chicago and the suburbs to every part of down state. we're going to invest in our clean water initiative. we believe in clean water. it's very important that we understand that we work together for something as important as clean water. now, members of the general assembly, the illinois jobs agenda is a comprehensive jobs initiative for the people of our state. to create jobs and grow the economy we must enact targeted tax relief for illinois employers, for illinois families and for our veterans. we must invest in college scholarships and early childhood education in 21st century schools. we must invest in affordable housing and clean water for our
communities. and i look forward to working with you to find the proper funding to meet these urgent needs. by investing in illinois, and investing in our people, we are building and growing our economy. we are moving illinois forward. now i know that no reform is easy. reforming our medicaid and reforming our public pension systems will require political courage. by the same token, no major investment is easy. moving forward on the vision that i have laid out today will require true partnership. we have real challenges to tackle and like all of you i recognize the severity of our financial situation but cuts alone will not resolve this situation. we must build and grow our economy. now is not the time to pull back.
to abandon our children, to abandon our parents and to abandon the unemployed among us. their well-being is our common cause. and our commitment to them requires that we join as partners to invest in our state and invest in our people. i'm proud of what we have accomplished together over these last three years. abraham lincoln once said i like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. abraham lincoln said i like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him. so after three years of hard work and tough decisions, illinois is back on course. illinois is moving forward. and illinois is a place that we can be proud to claim as our own. i look forward to working with you in the coming year to make the people of illinois even
live saturday on american history tv on c-span 3, five civil war historians make their case for 1862's person of the year. the all-day forum from the museum of the confederacy and the library of virginia in richmond ends the day with an audience vote. c-span 3 viewers can join in with your calls and tweets, starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. we got started because there are a lot of conservative think tank that work across issues. but before cap there had been no single progressive organization that works on domestic policy and national policy. >> the president and the ceo of the center for american progress on the mission of the washington, d.c. based think tank. >> we think there's often an ideology behind