Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is slated to give what we hope will be his last State of the State speech today.
This will be Quinn’s second speech during an election year. He also was up for election in 2010 after taking office in 2009. That year, he beat Republican state Sen. Bill Brady in the general election.
This March, Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, faces a relative unknown – Tio Hardiman – in the Democratic primary. Waiting for him in November will be one of the four Republicans seeking to win the GOP primary: Brady, state Sen. Kirk Dillard, wealthy businessman Bruce Rauner or State Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
In Quinn’s speech, you’ll likely hear him claim victory over getting pension reform passed. You won’t hear about how the reform will do next to nothing to improve Illinois’ fiscal outlook.
You’ll likely hear Quinn talk about jobs and building the middle class in Illinois, including raising the state’s minimum wage. You won’t hear about how doing so will hurt business and not create jobs.
You’ll likely hear about all that the state accomplished in the past year, including the legalization of gay marriage and medical marijuana.
What you won’t hear Quinn talk about is his failed leadership. You won’t hear him talk about how he sat on the sidelines as pension reform kept getting pushed to the side. You won’t hear him talking about how he wasn’t involved in crafting pension reform.
You likely won’t hear him talk about how big the state’s backlog of unpaid bills is despite him raising your income taxes by 67 percent.
Quinn has been an ineffective leader, even with Democrats controlling both chambers of the Legislature.
It’s time for new blood. We hope a worthy challenger to Quinn emerges from the Republican primary. Illinois needs a level of leadership Quinn has failed to provide.