SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Works Coalition Co-chairs Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard today met with Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and Legislative Leaders at the Governor’s office in Springfield to discuss the need for a capital infrastructure program. Hastert and Poshard asked for the meeting to report on the findings of the Illinois Works Coalition’s meetings around the state. The group convened agreed to continue meeting and working on passing consensus legislation for a comprehensive capital plan for Illinois.
The Coalition has been meeting with families, business owners and labor leaders over the past month to discuss how a comprehensive capital program would benefit their communities. They reported to the Governor and leaders that there is growing consensus to pass Illinois Works - the Governor’s $25 billion capital program to build or rebuild critical infrastructure that would support 700,000 jobs statewide.
“After talking with families, businesses and labor leaders around this state, this Coalition is reporting what we already know – we must pass a comprehensive capital program now,” said Governor Blagojevich. “The nation’s economy continues to struggle. We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can in Illinois to put people to work. A capital program is central in our efforts.”
“It has been nearly a decade to long and it’s time to reinvest in Illinois infrastructure," said Co-Chair Hastert. “I am pleased that we are working to take further steps to get this bill passed.”
“This bill would better improve our schools and transportation infrastructure,” said Co-Chair Poshard. “Illinois Works would support some 700,000 jobs and that right there can make a huge difference in the lives of Illinois residents.”
Illinois Works will support more than 700,000 jobs and fix the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges, build and repair schools across the state, and provide resources for statewide economic development. The Governor’s Illinois Works plan includes:
- $14.4 billion for road and bridge programs
- $3.8 billion for school construction
- $2.7 billion for public transit
- $1.1 billion for higher education
- $1.1 billion for environment, energy and technology
- $1.0 billion for economic development, including housing
- $600 million for improved and expanded state facilities
- $500 million for airports and rail
Coalition members are sharing their findings with lawmakers in Springfield in order to ensure a capital bill is passed by the General Assembly this legislative session.