SPRINGFIELD — Below is a transcript of Gov. Pat Quinn’s State of the State address, as written for delivery Wednesday.
President John Cullerton, Speaker Mike Madigan, Leaders Christine Radogno and Tom Cross, members of the General Assembly, and distinguished guests: Good Afternoon.
It is an honor to address you at the start of a new legislative session. And let me again welcome our 38 new legislators, women and men committed to serving their districts and our state.
We are joined this afternoon by Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Treasurer Dan Rutherford, Auditor General Bill Holland, and Superintendent of Education Chris Koch. Thank you for your presence.
And thanks, in particular, to Secretary White, for your career of public service and the impact you have made in reducing traffic fatalities over the past four years to historic lows.
I’d like to recognize today Erin Merryn, who advocated to give us “Erin’s Law” to prevent sexual assault and abuse of children. Thank you Erin.
As we gather today, let us also pause to thank our Illinois men and women in uniform, whose service and sacrifice make occasions like this possible.
We’re honored to have with us today Sergeant James Cissell, a Lead Firefighter with the Illinois National Guard 662nd Fire Fighting Team based in Sparta.
Last year, Sergeant Cissell was scheduled to leave military service, but instead he volunteered to extend his service so he could deploy with his unit to Afghanistan. There, he and his 7-man team responded to dozens of fires and emergencies.
He just returned to his wife Angela and children Courtney, Cori, and Cody in October. Sergeant Cissell, you are man of great courage.
This year, we mark the 10th anniversary of the Illinois Military Family Relief Trust Fund, a program which has provided more than $14 million to support families of our deployed service members, including Sergeant Cissell and his family last year.