Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Pat Quinn's Busy Weekend

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The governor told students that graduating high school safely is priority No. 1. (Published Friday, Jul 8, 2011)

    Governor Pat Quinn has a big weekend planned.

    He kicked it off Friday by signing three education bills with an eye toward safety and improved test scores:

    One bill expands upon a program that teaches fourth through 12th graders to resolve conflicts without violence. The latest bill extends the program to younger children.

    The other two focus on education initiatives: one requires 60 minutes of reading time for kindergarten through third graders who are behind in grade levels, the other requires math and reading during the summer for students who are two grade levels behind.

    Saturday Quinn will sign two more bills, these ones dealing with electric vehicle adoption by the state of Illinois.

    Meanwhile, he'll continue to mull his position on an Illinois gambling bill that has yet to make it to his desk.

    Quinn has reportedly been speaking with suburban mayors about the merits of expanding gambling in the state.

    The governor will also have to keep in mind a labor fight.

    The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sought an arbitrator's ruling Thursday after Quinn's decision last week to ditch $75 million in raises for 30,00 workers to help deal with the state's budget crisis.

    AFSCME says the arbitrator has ordered both the state and the union to submit briefs regarding the dispute by July 16. In the meantime, the union has asked workers to hold informational pickets throughout the state on Tuesday.