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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 1999

HAILING NEW ERA OF COOPERATION, GOV. RYAN, MAYOR DALEY PRESENT JOINT PROGRAM TO ILLINOIS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION
WASHINGTON -- Inaugurating "an unprecedented partnership on behalf of the people of Illinois," Illinois Gov. George Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley advocated a common legislative program today in a joint appearance before the state's congressional delegation.

WASHINGTON -- Inaugurating "an unprecedented partnership on behalf of the people of Illinois," Illinois Gov. George Ryan and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley advocated a common legislative program today in a joint appearance before the state's congressional delegation.

The Republican governor and Democratic mayor asked the legislators to push for more federal money for a number of pressing needs, including mass transit, highways, schools, housing and Medicaid.

In a joint statement, the two expressed frustration that Illinois ranked 48th in per capita federal aid last year.

"Competing against each other, competing region against region, has proven counterproductive," Ryan and Daley said. "We can be far more effective by embracing a common agenda and forming an unshakeable alliance to pursue common goals."

Mayor Daley told the congressional delegation that "I have never been so optimistic that Illinois' elected officials -- at every level of government -- will be able to work together to address the issues facing all the people of our state...

"Governor Ryan and I agree that people aren't interested in donkeys and elephants -- they want their elected officials to cooperate with each other to get things done."

Gov. Ryan said, "Illinois has a golden opportunity this year. The stars are aligned in the correct position for all of us -- together -- to get a lot accomplished for our state.

"With Denny Hastert as the speaker of the House, Dick Durbin on the Senate Appropriations Committee, John Porter as an Appropriations subcommittee chair and Bill Daley as the secretary of commerce, we have leaders in place to work with this delegation."

The joint legislative program seeks additional federal funds for:

  • Improvements to the CTA's Blue and Brown lines; upgrades to Metra's North Central, Southwest and West lines; and bus improvements for the CTA and Pace.

  • Reconstruction of the Stevenson Expressway, Wacker Drive, Illinois Route 64 in DuPage County and major road projects in Western Illinois, Metro East and Will County.

  • School construction, additional teachers, and early-childhood, summer school, after-school, enhanced reading and vocational programs in local schools across the state.

  • School technology enhancements, technology-oriented research grants to state academic and scientific institutions and particle physics at Fermilab.

  • Acquisition of open space.

  • Low-income housing.

  • Child-care grants and construction of child-care facilities.

  • Medicaid.

  • Incarceration of criminal aliens.

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    JOINT CITY/STATE FEDERAL INITIATIVES

    Transportation

    1. Highway Funds beyond the TEA-21 Formula for Illinois

  • $55 million to assist in the rehabilitation of the Stevenson Expressway from I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) to I-94/90 (Dan Ryan Expressway). The federal funds will be used to assist in completing the project in two rather than four years, while significantly reducing congestion within the Chicago Metro area.

  • $50 million for the reconstruction of Wacker Drive Viaduct, which is a two-way, two level roadway with six lanes on the upper level and four lanes on the lower level that connects Harrison Street to Lake Shore Drive. The reconstruction will improve safety and the flow of traffic to this important downtown artery.

  • $45 million for improvements to Illinois Route 64 in DuPage County to provide relief to suburban residents in the Addison, Lombard and Villa Park areas.

  • $22 million for congestion relief to Illinois 59 in Will County between 103rd Street and Illinois 26.

  • $28 million for U.S. Route 336 extension from Quincy to Macomb to link Macomb and western Illinois to the interstate system and to accommodate growth in the area.

  • $11 million to assist in the completion of Alton bypass to connect Illinois 143 and Illinois 67, as a part of the U.S. 67 corridor.

    2. Specific Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Request – support additional funding for the Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program for the IEPA. This will reduce the pressure to increase state funding to pay for additional federal testing requirements.

    3. Mass Transit Funds beyond the TEA-21 Formula for Illinois

  • $27 million in Federal Transit Administration Capital Grants is being requested for improvements to buses and bus facilities, which will benefit the CTA and PACE and allow them to provide better service to the City of Chicago and its suburbs.

  • $95 million in Federal Transit Administration Capital Grants is being requested for the CTA, which includes $77 million for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Douglas-Blue Line and $18 million for the capacity expansion of the Ravenswood-Brown Line.

    4. Rail Funds beyond the TEA-21 Formula for Illinois

  • $52 million is being requested for Metra in order to upgrade the North Central and Southwest lines and extend the Union Pacific West line to Elburn, which will enhance Metra's service and efficiency.

  • $15 million for the Englewood Flyover, a project to build a grade separation between Metra lines and other freight lines on the city's south side in order to expedite rail operations and ease traffic congestion once the St. Charles Airline is demolished. This will pave the way for more rapid economic development in the area.

    5. Aviation Funds

  • Remove the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) from the unified federal budget, or guarantee a level of airport funding to assure that all receipts deposited into the AATF are used for funding for the states.

  • $41 million is being requested for Downstate airport improvements as part of the national Airport Improvement Program.

    Education

    1. Support an increase in funding for new school construction and modernization. Both the state and the City of Chicago have made a significant investment in school construction funding.

    2. Title I "Even Start" funding of $15 million for early childhood education will triple the amount of money available to communities for programs that allow children to be prepared to go to school.

    3. Summer Bridge program funding of $42 million will provide funding to expand the program developed by Chicago Public Schools that assists students who fall behind their classmates and need additional educational services during the summer.

    4. Title II "Reading Excellence" funding of $40 million will provide funding for children to read at a 3rd grade level when they complete 3rd grade.

    5. After School program funding of $50 million to increase the number of school and park districts who can receive funding to develop after-school alternatives for children.

    6. $105 million for hiring additional teachers, reducing class size, and taking other steps to improve the quality of education. Chicago Public Schools would receive $40 million, with the rest of the state receiving the balance. The state also advocates for more flexibility in regards to spending the funds than the current program. Being able to hire teacher's aides and paying teachers for after-school and weekend duty are examples of where a more flexible approach could meet the goals of improved educational outcomes.

    7. An increase of $60 million for School-to-Work funding and $7 million for Vocational Technical Preparation funding to community colleges and secondary school systems for job skills training and workforce preparation.

    Social Security Reform

    1. Oppose mandatory contributions to Social Security by public sector employees.

    Technology

    1. $250 million for school technology enhancements.

    2. Fully fund the President's "Information Technology for the 21st Century" (IT2) initiative for the NSF, as recommended by the Illinois Coalition – additional $30 million for Illinois. This program will greatly increase the research grants available to Illinois' world-class academic and scientific institutions. Also as recommended by the Illinois Coalition:

    3. $11.3 million to fully utilize the newly upgraded particle accelerator at Fermilab; and $22 million in construction costs and $13.5 million in project costs for the "Neutrinos at the Main Injector" (NuMI) project at Fermilab.

    4. Support federal tax credits for technology and training expenses of high-tech companies.

    Open Space & Environment

    1. $160 million over 4 years from the President's "Lands Legacy Initiative" to match the Governor's commitment for the Illinois Open Lands Trust. This money will fund the acquisition of open spaces, easements, and development rights, and can be used for the development of urban parks in Chicago and other metropolitan areas.

    2. $13 million to help fund stabilization and cleanup of the Paxton Landfill in Chicago.

    3. Support the City's accelerated schedule for the Shoreline Stabilization Project. This will stabilizes the shoreline of Lake Michigan and prevents further land loss through erosion.

    Housing & Urban Development

    1. $75 million for increased CDBG monies to fund all applications to DCCA

    2. $6 million for improving Harbor Drive access road to the Southworks site, and $3 million for the South Chicago Housing Initiative that will redevelop the community adjacent to the USX site.

    3. A 40% increase in the availability of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit. This credit will allow Illinois to continue to produce and preserve affordable housing for senior citizens and working families. Support of H.R. 175, which authorizes this increase, would provide another $6 million in tax credits for Illinois.

    Child Care

    1. Illinois would like its portion of Child Care Block Grant funding to be increased by $82 million. In addition, the state would like to be able to utilize some of this funding for the construction of child care facilities. Such a capital allowance would improve access to services in Chicago, as the ability to construct day care facilities is a problem in many urban neighborhoods. Newly constructed facilities would benefit area residents by providing both better access to services and a higher quality of care.

    Medicaid

    1. Currently, Illinois is one of only 9 states receiving the lowest match rate (floor of 50%) for Medicaid. If the floor for Medicaid match were raised from 50% to 55%, Illinois would receive another $300 million in Medicaid match to the general funds. In addition, Medicaid revenues to Cook County would increase about $44 million.

    2. Change the rules regarding the ability to claim reimbursement on nursing home services for the mentally ill – make all facilities eligible for federal matching funds. Additional revenue of $38 million.

    Corrections

    1. Increase State Criminal Alien Assistance Program to full funding of all expenses of incarcerating criminal aliens. Full funding would bring $20 million for state prisoners (a $12 million increase), and would generate $10 million for county governments, almost all of which would go to Cook County.

    Pre-Emption

    1. We oppose Congress' pre-empting the legitimate authority of state governments in such areas as telecommunications, tax policy, and zoning.


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