The coalition co-chairmen, Southern Illinois University President
Glenn Poshard and former Speaker of the U.S. House of
Representatives Dennis Hastert, announced their recommendations last
week for a capital infrastructure plan and revenue streams to pay
for it. Their recommendations followed a comprehensive statewide
listening tour launched in March and a series of meetings with
Blagojevich and legislative leaders.
"After nine long years without a capital infrastructure plan,
Illinois simply cannot wait a minute longer," said Blagojevich. "The
time is now to put people to work. The time is now to build and
rebuild our roads, bridges and schools. If we donít take this
opportunity now, we risk losing millions of federal dollars and our
infrastructure needs only grow. I thank Speaker Hastert and
President Poshard for their recommendations. I embrace them
wholeheartedly. And, I stand here today with Senate President Jones
and leaders Watson and Cross to call for passage of this plan before
legislators leave for the summer."
"Illinois has the opportunity to take a giant step forward in
terms of economic development, infrastructure and investment in the
future of our state," said Jones. "The passage of a capital bill
will allow us to repair and build schools, infrastructure, and our
"Senate Republicans have been a clear and consistent voice for a
responsible capital program," said Watson. "There are so many needs
across the state -- roads, bridges, schools, universities, airports
-- the list goes on and on. The infrastructure needs of this state
must be addressed. We have the opportunity to address those needs,
capture federal money thatís available and create jobs that are
sorely needed in Illinois."
"Because of the great needs for roads, bridges, mass transit and
school construction in this state, I support the Hastert-Poshard
infrastructure plan," said Cross. "For us to not give full
consideration to this well-thought-out plan put together by these
two respected individuals would be an enormous mistake."
"I am absolutely convinced that this state cannot wait a single
day longer for a capital construction bill," said Poshard. "We need
to put people to work, we need to secure our position as this
nationís transportation hub, and we need to access the federal
transportation funds secured in a bipartisan effort by former
Speaker Hastert and our congressional delegation."
"There is a compelling need for a capital bill to meet the
economic and educational needs of the state, with maximum support
from every geographical area as well as the labor and business
community," said Hastert. "Further delay will be costly to the state
and will contribute to our failure to remain competitive in job
creation and retention."
"Labor has aggressively worked to pass a capital bill for several
years," said Michael Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO.
"We desperately need a Ďjobs billí that will get our members back to
work. Itís been nine years since Illinois passed a capital bill that
would fund infrastructure repair and construction across our state.
We are woefully behind, and our roads, bridges, rails, airports and
schools show it. We commend the governor and the Illinois Works
Coalition, especially Glen Poshard and Dennis Hastert, for their
leadership. Now we need to move forward and pass the Hastert-Poshard
[to top of second column]
Joining the governor and the legislative leaders Thursday in support
of Illinois Works were Carrigan; Florence Cox, executive director of
the Black Contractors United; Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin; Tod
Faerber, president of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce;
Larry Ivory, president and CEO of the Illinois Black Chamber of
Commerce; Naperville Mayor George Pradel; Paul Cerpa, director of
the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association; John Penn,
Midwest regional manager of the Laborer's International Union of
North America; and Allan Reyhan Jr., president of the Associated
General Contractors of Illinois. On Tuesday, the Illinois Chamber of
Commerce announced its support for a capital infrastructure plan and
the corresponding revenue streams.
Works capital plan includes the following:
Invest $31 billion
in transportation, education, energy, health care, environment
and water, economic development, and other critical
infrastructure and quality-of-life needs for the citizens of
Provide a capital
improvement plan clearly identifying timelines, priorities and
funding sources for projects within each of these investment
construction projects and mass transportation investments with
$7 billion in a partial lottery concession.
Create capital and
educational trust funds with "lockbox" accountability guarantees
for capital investments and continuation of the current level of
lottery proceeds for P-12 education.
Use motor fuel
taxes to support bonded road projects that allow nearly $2
billion in additional projects
Expand gaming with
a Chicago casino, one additional riverboat license, increases in
positions at existing riverboats and availability of electronic
gaming at racetracks to raise $550 million annually in new
revenues for debt service for environment and water, energy,
economic development, health care, state facilities, and other
According to a study by Southern Illinois University, a
comprehensive capital plan would have tremendous economic benefits
for the state. The study found that a capital plan would create
535,000 new full-time jobs, lead to $49 billion in economic activity
and provide more than $2.9 billion in state and local tax revenues.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]