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Quinn Worried Over Losing 52,000 Construction Jobs

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The governor calls out the legislature for not approving money for state construction jobs.

Governor Pat Quinn ran for reelection as the "jobs governor."

This week, however, he's facing the real possibility of becoming the governor who let 52,000 jobs expire.

That many construction workers could be laid off from capital construction projects that were being funded by the state's capital funding authority, Quinn said. 

Because of a disagreement, Illinois' legislature failed to renew an appropriations bill to fund numerous capital projects when they broke session last week. Current funding is set to expire on June 30, and Quinn says that handcuffs his abilty to pay the tab for the projects.

Quinn said he will call the House and Senate back under a special session to deal with the construction spending allotment.

Other lawmakers say the prescription is a tempest in a teapot, and that Quinn has the ability to pay the bills regardless of the language. Per the Tribune

Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, said Quinn's threat to shut down construction projects may be a "manufactured crisis" in order for Quinn and Senate Democrats to get additional spending power.

Murphy said it's an "open question" whether the projects could be funded through the summer since lawmakers gave Quinn an extra six months to pay off bills. But Quinn's administration contends it can't spend money on bills racked up after June 30.

Still others say Quinn's call for a special session is proper because legislators left this and other pieces of business unfinished.

Read more in Crain's Chicago Business, and the Chicago Tribune.

Related Topics Pat Quinn, Jobs, Construction
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