Quinn completes first full day as gov.

January 31, 2009 2:50:55 PM PST
Governor Quinn worked late on Friday night at his new office in the Thompson Center, according to his spokesperson.Earlier in the day, he promised to repair the damage in state government and he wasted no time trying to prove that he is nothing like the impeached and ousted former governor.

"It's a nice bed, nice accommodations, very good food there," said Governor Quinn.

Governor Pat Quinn began the day talking about the perks of his new job. But he was also making a statement about his predecessor who rarely spent the night at the mansion in Springfield.

The governor conducted his first state business by signing an executive order requiring a reform commission he set up as lieutenant governor to report to the governor's office.

Then it was on to Chicago where he attended an event at the Hilton.

He received a warm welcome at a luncheon with the Association of Park Districts.

Then it was on to his new office on the 16th floor of the at the Thompson Center where there was a show of unity.

All five statewide elected officials -- three who have been mentioned as future gubernatorial candidates -- appeared together, a sitting that hasn't happened since 2003 because of strained relationships with Blagojevich.

"I'm also excited to see the governor's office for the first time since I was elected. It's a very nice office," said Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.

"It's amazing what human beings can accomplish when no one worries about who gets the credit," said Quinn.

Governor Quinn says he wants to re-schedule Illinois primary elections from March to August or September to reduce the amount of time and money it takes to conduct a general election campaign.

Quinn must complete a budget plan before March 18 and with a projected $3 to 5 billion deficit looming. He might have to consider proposing a tax increase.

"It is very important that the state of Illinois pay its bills, and we will have a rescue plan, a blueprint, to pay our bills. I'm always going to put taxpayers first. I believe in putting taxpayers in the driver's seat. I understand holding down taxes, and especially the reform of taxes," Quinn said.

On Saturday morning, Quinn heads to Springfield to meet with members from a union representing state and city workers. Then he is headed to Peoria to participate in program aimed at helping working families use free state tax help.

Next week Governor Quinn will have to tackle the budget deficit and a possible tax increase.