Stateline Dispatch

Governors Call for Higher Minimum Wage, Tax Credits, Clean Air


  • January 30, 2014
  • Stateline
  • By Elaine S. Povich

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah addressed clean air issues in his State of the State speech Wednesday, one of the few governors to talk about the environment this year. In his annual address, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois refused to say whether he wants the state’s temporary tax hike extended, but he did advocate for tax breaks for the poor and for business.

• In Utah, Herbert laid out a trio of challenges facing Utah that included the impact of population growth on education, air quality and the state’s prisons. Herbert said recommendations from his Clean Air Action Team to accelerate the transition to cleaner fuel and limit wood burning during the entire inversion season should be implemented immediately. But he got pushback from Senate Republicans, who said the legislature must weigh in.

• Illinois "is making a comeback" and needs a solid hand at the wheel to complete its recovery, Quinn said. His speech called for an increase in the tax credit for the poor and for business tax breaks. He did not address whether he wants to extend, revamp or repeal the temporary hike in the state's individual and corporate income tax rates, expiring this year. He did call for naming  a small business advocate in his office, doubling the state’s earned income tax credit and boosting the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour.

January 30, 2014
Elaine S. Povich
Governors' Speeches
Illinois, Utah