Huffpost Chicago

Quinn Makes Construction Plan, Blago Reform Measures Law

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Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a construction program aimed at putting people back to work while lawmakers hash out a much larger public works program.

Officials expect the $3 billion program will create 80,000 jobs filling pot holes and fixing mass transit.

Quinn also approved spending $6.7 billion in federal stimulus money on other needs like high-speed rail or paying overdue Medicaid bills.

Officials say the work will begin in time to take advantage of the spring construction season while lawmakers iron out details of a larger $25 billion program.

Quinn also agreed to spend $1.6 million to reopen 11 shuttered historical sites - like Lincoln's Log Cabin - but officials say not all will reopen this season.

And a day after the 16-count federal indictment against his predecessor that alleges widespread corruption in the state retirement plan, Quinn approved an overhaul of the state pension board.

Quinn signed a law Friday that lawmakers approved just a day earlier. The measure dumps the boards of four pension systems and adopts tougher ethics rules.

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and five others were indicted Thursday on charges that included trying to skim money from the Teachers Retirement System.

The law requires firing TRS executive director Jon Bauman. He is not charged with wrongdoing but Quinn says TRS needs a complete overhaul.