Statehouse
4:55 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Durkin Says Job Creation Should Be Legislature's Focus

Rep. Jim Durkin
Rep. Jim Durkin
Credit ilga.gov

The Illinois House Republican leader says his top priority is legislation meant to reduce unemployment. Jim Durkin’s comments come ahead of Governor Pat Quinn’s State of the State Address Wednesday.

Illinois’ unemployment rate last month was 8.6 %. That’s down almost a full point from a year ago.  But House minority leader Jim Durkin - from Chicago’s southwest suburbs - says it’s still too high.

"It’s clearly understandable why we have governors from our surrounding states coming into Illinois seeking to poach our good employers, our good job creators," Durkin said.

Durkin says he’ll need Democratic support for a series of employment initiatives he hopes to introduce this session.  Hs also says any discussion about raising the minimum wage in Illinois needs to include business groups.

"It’s an emotional issue, but it’s also part of gotcha politics in an election year," he said.

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn is expected to repeat his call for raising the state’s minimum wage to 10 dollars an hour in his State of the State Address.

WUIS will carry the address live at 12 noon Wednesday.