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Sandoval’s bill to explore high-speed rail projects passes committee

High-speed trainSPRINGFIELD – The Senate Transportation Committee passed a measure Tuesday sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) to create a commission that would explore opportunities to create a statewide high-speed rail network.

Senate Bill 1988 would create an 18 member High Speed Railway Commission comprised of representatives from state government and industry organizations that would create a plan to create a high-speed rail network connecting St. Louis with Chicago. The proposed route for the railway would pass through several Illinois cities, including Champaign, Decatur and Springfield.

“High speed rail could very well be a big part of the future of transportation in Illinois,” Sandoval said. “As Chair of the Transportation Committee, I want to ensure that we study all available options to move our transportation infrastructure forward.”

The measure passed committee as the Illinois Senate considers introducing a comprehensive plan to improve Illinois’ infrastructure. At a hearing on capital infrastructure needs on Monday, legislators heard from a representative from the Midwest High Speed Rail Association about the economic benefits and increased quality of life high speed rail could provide to Illinois residents.

“High-speed rail would make travel throughout the state of Illinois far easier and would improve our economy by fostering tourism and commerce,” Sandoval said. “I look forward to hearing the commission’s findings and plotting the best path forward to introducing more high speed rail projects in Illinois.”

The bill passed the Transportation Committee unanimously. It will now go before the entire Senate.

Sen. Martin A. Sandoval

Majority Caucus Whip
11th District

Years served: 2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Higher Education; Licensed Activities; Transportation (Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Full-time state legislator, born in The Back of the Yards, graduate of Loyola University in Chicago where he earned a Bachelor's of Science in psychology; married (wife, Marina) has three children.

Associated Representatives:
Michael J. Madigan
Celina Villanueva