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Letter to Rod Blagojevich, Governor of Illinois, and Members of the Illinois General Assembly, Re: Break Gridlock and Pass a Capital Bill

Durbin & IL Delegation Urge State to Break Gridlock and Pass a Capital Bill

Just a day before the Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to resume session, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with several members of the Illinois delegation, today sent a letter to Governor Blagojevich and Members of the Illinois General Assembly urging them to work together to pass a state capital bill in order to take advantage of available federal funding for crucial Illinois infrastructure projects.

"Whether driving over multiple potholes or waiting for a late train or bus, Illinois residents are voicing their dissatisfaction with the status quo," the Illinois members wrote. "These real concerns need to be met in Springfield with the passage of a capital bill this session of the General Assembly. As Members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, we are particularly concerned about the hundreds of rail, road and transit projects throughout the State which we have secured federal funding. So far, the State of Illinois has only been able to use five percent of that funding. These funds, which we have all worked hard to secure on behalf of the residents of Illinois, can not be left to languish in the Federal treasury as transportation construction costs skyrocket."

Other members signing on to today's letter include Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), Representatives Jerry Costello (R-IL), Melissa Bean (D-IL), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Jerry Weller (R-IL), Ray LaHood (R-IL), Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Bill Foster (D-IL), Phil Hare (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), John Shimkus (R-IL), Danny Davis (D-IL), Don Manzullo (R-IL), and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL).

Text of the letter appears below:

March 31, 2008

The Honorable Rod Blagojevich
Governor
Capitol Building Springfield, IL 62706
Members of the Illinois General Assembly
Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Governor Blagojevich and Members of the General Assembly:

With each passing month, it becomes more apparent that our constituents want - and deserve - a new capital bill that addresses our state's extensive infrastructure needs. Whether driving over multiple potholes or waiting for a late train or bus, Illinois residents are voicing their dissatisfaction with the status quo.

These real concerns need to be met in Springfield with the passage of a capital bill this session of the General Assembly. As Members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, we are particularly concerned about the hundreds of rail, road and transit projects throughout the State which we have secured federal funding. So far, the State of Illinois has only been able to use five percent of that funding. These funds, which we have all worked hard to secure on behalf of the residents of Illinois, can not be left to languish in the Federal treasury as transportation construction costs skyrocket.

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert and Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard are currently leading a statewide coalition in support of a new capital bill. We applaud this bi-partisan approach. We understand the challenges that come with passage of a new capital bill, but all of us agree we must break through the gridlock and pass a capital bill now.

As spring begins another construction season, we urge the General Assembly and the Governor to work together and pass a capital bill this legislative session -- the residents of Illinois are counting on you.

Sincerely,
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator


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