Governor Pat Quinn focused his address on accomplishments in the past year. The time he did spend discussing the budget focused on cutbacks and making investments.
"We've all done things imaginable. We've cut costs of our expenses, reduced budget, I've taken a cut in my pay. I've taken furloughs with other workers. We have to understand that in tough times, those in government have to tighten their belts," said Governor Quinn.
Quinn admits the budget is far from perfect, but he says furlough days, salary reductions and spending cuts have reduced the budget by $2 billion dollars. But to get the state back on track, Quinn says Illinois needs new revenue. He wants to invest in infrastructure.
"More construction, bridges and water works. Help building new schools. This is what we have to do to get our economy back on track. If we do that, public works will put people back to work."said Quinn.
Quinn says making those improvements will make Illinois an inland port for a portion of the country. He also recognized the importance of renewable energy and agriculture.
"We have to work with them to grow our opportunities. We have opportunities to export our products. To take other by-products and turn them into plastics and other goods and services that can make a difference around the world."
Quinn talked little about how to pay for these programs and investments. That has many wondering if residents in Illinois will see a tax increase anytime soon. That can be a sore subject during a recession and an election year.
We also asked lawmakers who represent western Illinois about the possibility of a tax increase. Hear what they have to say tonight on KHQA's Late News at ten.