Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Gov. Quinn Approves Early Education Law

The bill earmarks extra state money to educate children up to age 3

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that sets aside a bigger portion of state grant money to finance early childhood education.

The re-election-seeking governor stamped his approval on Wednesday for the $300 million Early Education Block Grant Program that will launch in July and guarantee at least 14 percent in spending for kids up to 3 years old, The Associated Press reports.

Quinn has campaigned in recent months to earmark extra money for pre-K education, a pet issue of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other political progressives.

Earlier this week, Quinn approved Emanuel's pension reform bill to increase employee contributions by 29 percent and reduce benefits to shore up two underfunded Chicago pensions. In signing the bill, the Democrat -- getting flak from Republican rival Bruce Rauner -- urged the mayor to nix a property tax incease and follow the state's lead in reforming pensions without raising taxes for homeowners and businesses.

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