Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has taken his work to Israel this week, going on what his office is calling an educational mission. Before he left, Quinn told reporters his trip would mostly focus on Israel's green technology efforts.
"I think it's pretty inspiring that we work together on these important issues of clean water, reducing emissions, having an alternative to petroleum and also definitely education," Quinn said.
On Wednesday, the governor will visit Better Place, a company that develops battery-charging and swapping locations for electric cars. Quinn said he wanted to explore battery-charged vehicles as a possible alternative to petroleum-fueled cars.
Quinn plans to attend a signing ceremony on Thursday for an exchange program between Ben-Gurion University and University of Illinois at Chicago. The program will promote faculty and student exchanges and joint research efforts.
Also on his schedule are plans to sign a 'Sister Lakes' agreement with Israel -- a plan that would benefit Israel's Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) and Lake Michigan. The agreement would encourage Illinois and Israel to share solutions about water purification, invasive fish species and other concerns.
The governor's office says the trip is paid for by the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. Among the other state leaders visiting Israel with the governor are Illinois State Sens. Jeffrey Schoenberg and Ira Silverstein.