State of Illinois Archives: on Technology


Pat Quinn: Largest infrastructure construction program in IL history

Exactly five years ago this day, I was sworn in as Governor, at Illinois' darkest moment. We were facing an unprecedented triple crisis of government corruption, economic collapse, and financial instability.

We had one former Governor in jail and another on the way to jail. Our economy had plunged into the worst recession since the Great Depression, brought to its knees by greedy and corrupt financiers. And our financial house was on fire, set ablaze by decades of mismanagement and an utter lack of willingness to make the tough calls.

But over the past five years, we've rebuilt one hard step at a time. And we've been getting the job done. Illinois is making a comeback.

When I took the oath of office, state government hadn't properly invested in our infrastructure in 10 years. Within 10 weeks, we passed the largest construction program in Illinois history. So far, we've built and repaired 7,595 miles of road, 1,311 bridges and 978 schools.

Source: 2014 State of the State speech to Illinois legislature Jan 29, 2014

Pat Quinn: Create next-generation jobs with "1871" digital hub

To create 21st century jobs, we're investing in innovation. We helped create 1871, a digital hub that has become home to more than 200 startups. But there's more to be done. Now is the time to take that same innovative, public-private approach to advanced manufacturing.

In the last 3 years, manufacturing has been one of our state's leading growth sectors, creating nearly 40,000 new jobs. We're at the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing, and we need to stay there.

That's why we're partnering with the University of Illinois and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to create an advanced manufacturing hub where companies--big and small--come to learn and use the world's most sophisticated tools and software. The Illinois Manufacturing Lab will make our manufacturers more competitive.

Now, in our Illinois, we leave no worker behind. As we create next-generation jobs, we must ensure that our workers are equipped for them. We're closing this "skills gap."

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Illinois Legislature Feb 6, 2013

Jim Oberweis: Protect intellectual property rights, including lawsuits

Q: What else is on your [investment] list that can get our viewers excited?

Oberweis: What has been a great area in the last couple years are folks buying and selling patents. We own a company called Acacia Technology that goes to companies, buys patents or licenses patents, and then sues to enforce them or license them to those that are infringing.

Q: Aren't these just bloodsuckers, leeches just trolling and being a bane to everybody?

Oberweis: Some have said that. First of all, they're profitable leeches, if you take that connotation. But I would say no. They do fulfill a niche, and here's the niche. XYZ company is a small company, they do business with Microsoft, Microsoft infringes their patent. And if they decided to sue Microsoft, Microsoft buries them in paperwork for the next 20 years. I am a strong believer that intellectual property rights need to be protected. It's Acacia's business, and they help companies in that situation because that's their sole business.

Source: Forbes Magazine interview on 2014 Illinois Senate race Jan 5, 2012

Pat Quinn: Pay backlog of $280M for mass transit

Illinois' backlog of payments to the state's transit systems is now more than $280 million. Millions of people living and working in Illinois rely on our mass transit systems, including 2 million trips per day in Northeastern Illinois alone. Delayed payments to the Regional Transportation Authority for CTA, for Metra, and for PACE harms the ability of our people to get to work. In addition, the state has been forced to pay more for procurement contracts, simply because we do not pay on time. Vendors are not bidding competitively--our bids are 6% to 10% higher than they should be--because those contracting with the state expect long delays in payment. This is not insignificant; we pay $700 million to 1$ billion extra per year as a result. Even with our new revenues, if we do not restructure our debt it will take decades for us to return to the prompt payment cycle of a fiscally responsible government.
Source: Illinois 2011 State of the State Budget Address Feb 16, 2011

Pat Quinn: Ban texting while driving

There's a passage in Scripture that says, if you save one life, you save the whole world. And this year in Illinois, a historic year, 2009, for the first time since 1921 we had less than 1,000 deaths on the highways of Illinois.

Now that took a lot of work. It took State policemen on the highways, the Department of Transportation. We passed a law this year, a very important law that will ban texting while driving.

Source: Illinois 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Alan Keyes: Transportation projects are top priorities in Illinois

Q: What infrastructure projects do you think are priorities in Illinois, and which ones would you work for?

A: Starting with the problem that supports one of the most important sectors in our state, which is the need to take the 70-year-old locks and dams that have been preserved by the Corp of Engineers, but which everybody knows now are in need of attention so that we can maintain the transport system that supports our agriculture. That would be a first priority. Second, we have the problem of congestion in the air space over OíHare that has been held up by a whole bunch of political paralysis; people paying lip service to what needs to be done, while they stand back in fear of having to deal with what is really, at the end of the day, an effort to control the situation politically. We need to integrate central & southern Illinois into this plan, by making sure that we have encouraged Amtrak to develop its full potential for rail transportation, that knits together our whole state.

Source: IL Senate Debate, Illinois Radio Network Oct 12, 2004

Barack Obama: Invest on transportation and clean coal technology projects

Freight rail is important, and thatís part of what makes us the transportation hub of the nation. We need to significantly improve on it. Thereís already a program in place called CREATE that would create a public/private partnership in order to improve our rail line capacity. The south suburban airport is a good idea-although we may depart on how to build it. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., has come up with a plan that involves private investors willing to lay out the risk for this project, and we should get moving on it quickly. I do believe in OíHare expansion. Thatís the crown jewel of our transportation system. Locks and dams has already been mentioned. The FutureGen Project down in southern Illinois, that could do something about revitalizing the coal industry in southern Illinois by funding a billion-dollar project to develop clean coal technology, so Illinois coal can be utilized in a way thatís environmentally sound. One of our highest priorities has to be energy independent in the future.
Source: IL Senate Debate, Illinois Radio Network Oct 12, 2004

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Page last updated: Sep 08, 2014