House Passes Budget Bill with Millions of Dollars for Transportation, Healthcare, and Education in 17th District
Late last night, Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) voted in favor of the FY 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Bill which invests millions of dollars in the 17th Congressional District at his request. The Senate is expected to vote on the legislation this week.
Note: The final dollar amounts may change slightly.
"I was extremely proud to help secure millions of dollars to invest in the future of the 17th District," Hare said. "The programs and projects funded in the bill will create jobs, strengthen our local economy, and improve health care and education for my constituents."
The following projects were included in the bill at the request of Hare and the Illinois Senate delegation:
River Tech Boulevard Road Construction, $1.2 million
These funds will provide flood resistant access to the Western Illinois University Quad Cities Campus and the Mississippi River Urban Technology Corridor in Moline.
"Bringing a prestigious four-year university like Western to the Quad Cities is one of my top priorities," Hare said. "A flood resistant boulevard is a critical step toward providing the infrastructure necessary to accommodate a new campus."
MLK, Jr. Center, City of Rock Island, $952,000
These funds would construct a new technology center and training room while expanding the Center's training and mentoring programs.
"Renovating the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and expanding its programs will allow more low-income children to access the wonderful services provided by the Center's many dedicated volunteers," Hare said.
Galesburg Grade Separation, $500,000
These funds will be used to construct a new railroad grade separation bridge on North Seminary Street over the BNSF Railway in Galesburg. Currently EMS, fire, and other emergency service personnel are facing significant delays in response times to and from the area's hospitals due to railroad traffic, which is projected to increase by 68% over the next 8 years. The construction of this overpass would significantly reduce that congestion.
"Roadway congestion in Galesburg has gotten out of control and the construction of an overpass will benefit all those who travel through this community," Hare said. "In the case of emergency response, this effort to reduce traffic will literally save lives by allowing first responders to arrive on the scene of an accident in a more timely fashion."
Rock Island County Mass Transit District (MetroLINK) Transit Facility Improvements, $500,000
These funds will enable MetroLINK to construct a new Transit Maintenance Facility to replace the current one, which is outdated, inefficient and too small. This facility is a key component of a planned multimillion dollar investment in redevelopment along the Mississippi River and will improve transit service for residents and tourists.
"A new transit facility in Rock Island County will spearhead critical economic development in the region and provide a needed service to residents, tourists, and eventually students at the planned Western Illinois Moline campus," Hare said.
Community Health Clinic, Whiteside County, $312,000
These funds would improve and expand the county's health clinic, including more exam rooms, new laboratories, a behavioral health room and physicians' offices, which are needed to serve the medical and behavioral health needs of Whiteside County's Medicare and Medicaid patients.
"Expanding the Community Health Clinic in Whiteside County is something I strongly support and this funding for new health rooms and physicians' offices will enable the clinic's professional staff to greater serve the health needs of the surrounding community," Hare said.
Renewable Fuels Degree Program, Richland Community College, Decatur, $312,000
These funds would be used to develop a degree program at Richland Community College to train workers for the ethanol and bio-diesel industries. The national commitment to increased development and use of biofuels has created the need for educational curriculum and training opportunities to produce a skilled workforce for this emerging industry.
"As Illinois continues to be at the forefront of the emerging renewable fuels industry, a degree program at Richland College dedicated to training workers for ethanol and biodiesel careers is good for our economy, energy independence, and environment," Hare said.