General Assembly approves Houbolt Road Bridge to relieve I-80 travel traffic

mcguire 053119SPRINGFIELD — A new dedicated truck route in the Joliet area will ensure traffic along I-80 runs more smoothly and more safely under a plan that State Senator Pat McGuire that sponsored in the Illinois Senate today.

“Every Senator voting backed this innovative plan to make I-80, I-55 and IL 53 safer by giving trucks a different route into and out of the intermodals,” McGuire said. “Democrats, Republicans, business and labor are cooperating to save lives.”

Senate Bill 158 allows the construction of a privately financed 1.5-mile extension of Houbolt Road to include a toll bridge over the Des Plaines River.

The new route would be built upon land leased for 99 years from the City of Joliet and would serve as a more efficient alternative access route for trucks entering the CenterPoint Intermodal Center. The four-lane, two-way bridge would also include pedestrian and bike paths.

Under the legislation, the Will County Board has the authority to fix toll rates along the bridge, and the Illinois Toll Authority’s open-road tolling technology could be used. The project would be a joint venture between CenterPoint Properties and United Bridge Partners, a private firm that operates private toll bridges.

SB 158 earlier passed the Illinois House with Rep. Larry Walsh Jr. as chief sponsor. The legislation awaits the governor’s signature to become law. The 24-month construction project would begin this summer, pending the governor’s approval.

McGuire pushes for stronger mental health safety net for college students

mcguire 040519College students face major changes as they adjust to life away from home, a situation that can cause or greatly exacerbate underlying mental health issues. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) is sponsoring legislation to enable the state’s higher education system to help the one in four college students who face mental health difficulties.

House Bill 2152 would require public colleges and universities to form mental health panels to discuss mental health issues, implement programs that provide support to students struggling with mental health issues, and provide student-to-student support networks. They also must form a strategic partnership with local mental health providers, and that the Illinois Board of Higher Education develop a technical assistance center to develop and standardize mental health policies.

Extending scholarship program by McGuire, Governor signs major increase to AIM HIGH program

mcguire 040519Expanding a scholarship program created by Senator Pat McGuire as part of last year’s Higher Education Working Group, Gov. JB Pritzker signed new legislation allowing universities to retain any unused AIM HIGH scholarship funds each year, and grant them more flexibility in awarding the scholarships.

McGuire said the move shows a commitment to tackling the hurdles standing in the way of bright prospective students who may struggle with the financial burden of a university education.

McGuire: Budget’s higher ed focus welcome, but state needs construction plan

mcguire 022119SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) issued the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker summarized his budget proposal before the General Assembly today:

“For the first time in four years, we have seen a budget which makes a full and explicit commitment to our institutions of higher education, which have suffered immeasurably and needlessly during the last administration. Undoing the damage to them will take us many years, but in providing key support to MAP Grants and increased funding for our state schools, this sends a message that Illinois wants a sure and stable higher education system.

“This is a beginning of negotiations. I argue that we must also prioritize construction funding. The I-80 bridge over the Des Plaines River is rated a 6 out of a possible score of 100. That can’t stand when a failing grade endangers lives. I urge all my colleagues to push for a robust capital plan in Illinois.”


Sen. Pat McGuire


43rd District

Years served:
2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Environment and Conservation; Higher Education (Chairperson); Revenue; State Government (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (TR); Subcommittee on Prisons (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Former teacher, school board member, Will County treasurer and Braidwood City Clerk; attended Joliet Catholic schools from first grade through college; married (Lora) with one daughter (Molly).

Associated Representatives:
John Connor
Lawrence Walsh, Jr.