Pat Quinn (Former governor of Illinois)

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 22:22, 20 March 2011 by Leslie Graves (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Pat Quinn
December 16, 1948
Pat Quinn.jpg
41st Governor of Illinois
Appointed 2009, Elected 2010
Assumed office
January 29, 2009
45th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
In office
January 13, 2003 – January 29, 2009
Preceded byRod Blagojevich
Succeeded byIncumbent
Political partyDemocratic
WebsiteGovernor Pat Quinn Official site
Patrick J. Quinn (b. December 16, 1948) is the current Governor of Illinois. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in 2002 and took office in 2003. In 2009 he assumed the office of Governor following the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich. Quinn ran for, and won, a full term in 2010.



Quinn, born in 1948, was the oldest of the three sons of P.J. and Eileen Quinn. He attended Catholic grade school, and then Fenwick High School in Oak Park. For college, Quinn attended Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in international economics. He went on to obtain his law degree from Northwestern University's School of Law in 1980.[1]

Quinn owns a home in Chicago's Galewood neighborhood. He is the father of two grown sons, Patrick and David.[1]

Education and private career

Before becoming lieutenant governor, Quinn was a tax attorney. He earned an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from Northwestern University. He gained some early fame in the late 1970s by leading an ultimately unsuccessful drive to amend, via a petition drive, the 1970 Illinois Constitution with the "Illinois Initiative". This amendment would have provided people from Illinois with the same power to enact statutes through the process of referendum that is used in other states, notably California. Though Quinn's petition drive was successful, his efforts were blocked by the Illinois Supreme Court that ruled that the Illinois Initiative was an "unconstitutional constitutional amendment", and it was never allowed to be placed before the voters.

Political career

After serving one term as State Treasurer, Quinn ran for the office of Illinois Secretary of State in 1994, losing in the general election to the incumbent (and future Governor) George H. Ryan.

Quinn sought the office of Lieutenant Governor in 2002, and after winning the Democratic primary in March of that year, he ran together with Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Rod Blagojevich. In Illinois, candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor run separately in the primary election, and are then joined together as a ticket in the General Election. Blagojevich and Quinn defeated Attorney General Jim Ryan and State Senator Carl Hawkinson in the general election. In the Illinois primary election in March 2006, he ran unopposed as a Democrat. In November 2006, he and Governor Rod Blagojevich won re-election to their respective offices.


High speed rail

In November 2010, Quinn reached out to Wisconsin’s train manufacturers and tried to get some of the state's high speed rail federal money. His administration is openly courting Talgo Inc., which is slated to build Wisconsin’s high speed rail cars.

Illinois received $1.2 billion in federal stimulus dollars earlier this year to install high speed rail-lines across the state. Instead, Illinois is using the money to improve the lines that run from Chicago to St. Louis and Chicago to Madison, Wisconsin.

Missouri and Wisconsin also received federal funding for high-speed rail lines. These states were supposed to finish Illinois’ projects when they cross into their states. However, with the Wisconsin election of Republican Scott Walker, the state's commitment to the $810 million project has become unclear.

Quinn said that Illinois would be happy to take the extra federal money if Wisconsin refuses it.

“I’ve already talked to the vice president about it, Vice President Biden,” Quinn said. “I told him that if some states, Ohio and Wisconsin turn back money on high speed rail, we’ve got our hand up right away. We want to make sure we use that money in Illinois.”[2]

On December 23, 2010, the several entities involved in making the decision came to an agreement about how to proceed with development.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, Amtrak and Union Pacific Railroad gave the agreed on a deal that will allow federal funds to start flowing to the state. IDOT will administer the funds and Amtrak will be responsible for the running the trains. Union Pacific Railroad owns the track that the trains will run on.

“We’re very proud that this agreement has been reached,” said Josh Kauffman, spokesman for IDOT. “The agreement allows Illinois to access $1.1 billion in (federal) stimulus funds in order to move high-speed rail forward.”

Quinn praised the agreement.

“It’s a wonderful day for Illinoisans as we celebrate a milestone achievement towards becoming the first state in the nation to bring high-speed rail to fruition," he said in a press release.[3]

Civil unions

Gov. Quinn promised to sign the legislation to legalize civil unions as soon as it lands on his desk. The law would come into effect on July 1.[4]

Quinn entered the chamber during lawmakers' closing speeches, and later declared the bill’s passage "right."

“I think it is the right thing to do because it’s the right of conscience of people of our state that they should have this right,” Quinn said. “I think it is important that we respect the diversity that we have in our state and be a tolerant state of Illinois.”[5]

Tax hike

The Illinois State Senate passed a plan for a two point income tax hike, from 3 percent to 5 percent. At the start of the 2011 session, Quinn met with Democratic leaders to speak about passing tax hike legislation in the House. Quinn is pulling for a hike of at least 1 percent.

Senate President John Cullerton said the House is going to have to act first.

"We already passed an income tax out of the Senate," Cullerton said. "So they're talking about getting the vote to pass an income tax out of the House."

House Republicans hesitate to support any tax increase without concessions from Quinn and legislative Democrats.

State Rep Jil Tracy said while there has been talk of Medicaid, workers' comp and education reform, talk isn't going to get many votes.

"I only hope there's been a lot of real reform talked about that's going to be shown in legislation," she said. "I'm not sure."

Tracy said Democrats only want GOP votes as a shield against angry voters.[6]



See also: Illinois gubernatorial election, 2010

Quinn's competition in the February 2, 2010 Democratic Party primary is Illinois State Comptroller Dan Hynes.[7]

After a long election night, Quinn emerged victorious over Hynes in the Democratic race. The two spoke a day or two after the vote about coming together for the November election [1].


Quinn's campaign raised $5.1 million since the first of the year, and had an identical $2.3 million in the bank at the end of last month.[8]

Ballot Question 1 in 1980

Quinn led the charge in 1980 for the one initiated constitutional amendment that has ever qualified for the Illiois ballot: Illinois Ballot Question 1 (1980). This amendment reduced the number of members of the Illinois House of Representatives from 177 to 188. As the petition drive to put the measure on the ballot gained momentum, it also inspired the members of the state legislature to act to eliminate a practice whereby they paid themselves drew two years' advance pay at the start of each two-year legislative session.[9]

Quinn expressed his appreciation for the initiative process in his state as the campaign proceeded, saying, "Lawmaking by initiative is both practical and workable in Illinois. Other large industrial states like Michigan Ohio, Massachusetts and California have found the initiative process to be an excellent way of directly involving average citizens in state government decisionmaking. Average voters should not be looked upon as little children who need to be protected against themselves. They have common sense and good judgment for making responsible decisions on tough policy questions that affect their lives and pocket-books."[9]

Contact information

Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-0244
TTY: 888-261-3336

Office of the Governor
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph, 16-100
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312-814-2121               312-814-2121      

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Pat Quinn biography
  2. "Quinn Tries to Get Wisconsin Jobs, Federal Money for Illinois," Illinois Statehouse News, November 11, 2010
  3. "High-speed rail agreement reached," Illinois Statehouse News, December 23, 2010
  4. "Civil unions to become law in summer — then what?" Illinois Statehouse News, December 1, 2010
  5. "Civil unions gain House passage; medical marijuana, death penalty on hold," Illinois Statehouse News, December 1, 2010
  6. "Dem leaders talk tax hike," Illinois Statehouse News, January 4, 2011
  7. Chicago Tribune, "Major union snubs Quinn, Hynes in Democratic governor's race", December 12, 2009
  8. Illinois Statehouse News, "Quinn, Brady Cash Dash Unique," July 20, 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 United Press International, "Pat Quinn: A man politicians love to hate", February 8, 1980

Parts of this article are from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.