Continued progress. That’s how President Obama, Governor Quinn, and Mayor Pradel all described their work during 2013 to their constituents.
During Mayor George Pradel’s 19th State of the City address, he highlighted the city’s past successes and challenged residents to continue to raise the bar.
“I’m proud to call Naperville home and to be a public servant to the greatest community I have ever known,” said Pradel. “Let’s keep setting the bar higher and higher every year and striving to create a better tomorrow.”
Pradel also touted that 2013 saw a balanced budget as well as a AAA bond rating for the city of Naperville, a far cry from the financial issues facing the nation and the state of Illinois.
To better stimulate the both economies, President Obama and Governor Quinn pushed to raise the minimum wage to at least $10/hour.
“Our minimum wage workers are doing hard work,” said Governor Quinn. “They’re putting in long hours. Yet in too many instances, they are living in poverty. That’s not right. That’s not an Illinois value. And that’s not a fair shake. This is all about dignity and decency.”
“This will help families,” said President Obama during his State of the Union Speech. “It will give businesses customers with more money to spend. It does not involve any new bureaucratic program. So join the rest of the country. Say yes. Give America a raise!”
The State of the Union also gave the President a platform to outline his proposals to strengthen the middle class, including a new MyRA retirement plan.
“It’s a new savings bond that encourages folks to build a nest egg,” said President Obama. “MyRA guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in.”
Governor Quinn also addressed Illinois’ financial hardships and successes including creating jobs, and overhauling of the state’s pension system.
“There was no fiscal accountability and it lead to a culture of instability, shaking the confidence of tax-payers and businesses,” Governor Quinn. “Resolving Illinois pension crisis was the tallest task of all and we got it done.”
Quinn also proposed to bolster the workforce with more state scholarships and adding a small business advocate to his staff. However, local Republican representatives from Naperville have reservations on Quinn’s new plans.
“He mentioned he’s been in office five years and the only initiative I heard regarding jobs was that he was going to appoint a small business advocate, but, the governor is to be a small business advocate and create an environment to create private sector jobs,” said State Senator Michael Connelly (R).
“We have an income tax increase set to expire around the corner here and a lot of the programs he talked about is going to require revenue, and where is the revenue coming from?” said State Representative Darlene Senger (R).
Voters will be able to voice their opinions on Quinn’s progress in November when he is up for re-election.
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