The Majority Report 04/29/19 - Local construction needs continue to be revealed at statewide hearings


Local needs revealed at hearings in Peoria, Elgin

Road work

Highway expansion, bridge improvements, college building projects and wastewater and sewage upgrades are among the priorities that continue to be identified by local officials throughout Illinois as lawmakers contemplate a new statewide construction plan and ways to pay for it.

Illinois has not approved a major infrastructure plan since 2009. During a series of hearings around Illinois this spring, state senators are hearing from mayors, township officials, civil engineers, college presidents, labor representatives and others about the deteriorating and sometimes unsafe condition of roads, bridges and public buildings throughout the state.

“When you have to make decisions about when to change lanes based on how big the holes in the road are, that’s a problem,” said Mark Poulos, executive director of the Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting, during a hearing April 22 in Elgin.

At an April 8 hearing in Peoria, nearly two dozen concerned residents and officials from west-central Illinois and Iowa waited patiently to make lawmakers aware of the need for improvements to U.S. 34, a narrow, winding two-lane highway that has been the site of at least 12 fatalities since 2004.

“The 27-mile stretch between Monmouth and Burlington, the Illinois State Police have called this the most dangerous stretch of highway that they patrol,” Monmouth Mayor Rod Davies testified. Continue reading.

Read more: Infrastructure needs identified throughout Illinois


Collins targets power companies' deceptive marketing

Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) spoke out in support of a plan by Attorney General Kwame Raoul to hold power companies accountable for deceptive marketing intended to ensnare customers into more expensive utility plans.

“As we are all trying to be more mindful of our personal environmental impact, it is unfortunate that some alternative retail electric and gas suppliers have used misleading marketing to prey upon consumers. At a time when so many families in Illinois fight just to keep the heat on, these high-priced energy contracts are particularly predatory, targeting those who can least afford a higher bill,” Collins said.

“That’s why I’m glad to co-sponsor the HEAT Act and work with Attorney General Raoul in bringing an end to these practices.” Continue reading.



Cullerton aims to curb government redundancy

Sen. Tom Cullerton

To help eliminate redundant bureaucracy, State Senator Tom Cullerton passed a measure to prohibit the State of Illinois from creating new units of local government.

Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed Senate Bill 1215, which would prohibit the General Assembly from creating any new unit of local government until Jan. 1, 2022.

“As a state with nearly 7,000 units of government, we need to take proactive steps to reduce and eliminate unnecessary layers bureaucracy,” Cullerton said. “This measure will put a stop to the overzealous creation of government entities while our municipalities evaluate and consolidate services to promote the efficient use of taxpayer dollars.” Continue reading.




In case you missed it


State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Senator aims to cut new red tape for businesses | The Times Weekly

State Senator Bill Cunningham, Chicago: State funding approved for 6 McHenry County solar projects, dozens more wait-listed | Northwest Herald

State Senator Don Harmon, Oak Park: Report: Funding shortfalls causing nursing home to close | Rockford Register star

State Senator Robert Peters, Chicago: Cleanup, resource fair, film screening planned in Jackson Park | Hyde Park Herald

State Senator Heather Steans, Chicago: Recreational cannabis bill likely at top of agenda ‘very soon’ | News-Gazette


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