Rebecca Mason | Executive Director, Infrastructure Council | 217-522-5512 x 234 

The Infrastructure Council is a subgroup of the Illinois Chamber that focuses on increasing infrastructure investments in a strategic and thoughtful way to boost the overall business climate in Illinois. Our focus is on the public and private systems that are essential to Illinois businesses. 

March 28, 2019


The first infrastructure council meeting of 2019 is scheduled or Thursday, April 4th at 8:30 in Springfield at the Hanson Professional Services offices. If you plan to come down for the meeting, the Transportation for Illinois Coalition is holding their lobby day April 3rd and Chamber members are welcome to participate in the lobby day or the reception at the end of the day, so you can see legislators and network with a wider group of people April 3rd followed by our meeting April 4th. Please RSVP to me and let me know if you plan to attend the TFIC events also. 

Thank you to our meeting sponsor BNSF Railway.

April 4th: Hanson Professional Services
1525 South Sixth Street, Springfield
8:30: IDOT Director of Highways Paul Loete to talk about the rollout of the Transportation Asset Management Plan and the state's needs and condition
9:00: Rebecca Mason on ways Council Members can help advocate for a capital funding bill
9:15-9:20: Networking break and materials distributed
9:20: Business Meeting
  1. Update on Capital Discussions
  2. Legislation Update
  3. Critical Infrastructure Summit
  4. Waterways Update
    1. Planned Closure of Illinois River Locks and Dams
    2. Brandon Road update
  5. Federal Surface Transportation

The legislation we are currently working has been either moving or not moving in the Senate, so this week has not seen much committee activity. It is the House deadline for bills to come out of committee. The Senate deadline was last week, but extensions were largely granted to Senate bills.

The Governor's office has begun convening meetings with a small group of legislators on infrastructure funding. All four caucuses are represented by 1 or 2 legislators and they were largely optimistic after the first meeting. The Governor's office presented their priorities: "Vertical" capital must be tied to "horizontal" (no transportation only bill) and a significant commitment to diversity must be included.

Rep. Andre Thapedi introduced a transportation funding bill this week, backed by the Chamber, in the hope of further contributing to the funding discussion in Springfield. We hope the bill adds to the discussion in these ways:
  1. Revenue increases should be partially offset by provisions to minimize the impact on taxpayers,
  2. A bonding component should be included to address our bridge and expansion needs, and
  3. Multimodal funding is needed for transit, ports, airports, and other modes

The fact sheet is here and the bill page is here.

The INFRA grant application for Merchants Bridge, which carries rail traffic between St. Louis and Illinois, was publicly supported this week by members of the Congressional delegations from Illinois and Missouri. The Chamber also supports the grant application because of the Merchants Bridge's impact on freight movement in Illinois, Missouri, and most of the rest of the country. More

USDOT Secretary Chao said this week that she believes the surface transportation authorization will be used as a vehicle for increased transportation funding. DC policymakers have been debating whether to do two bills or to combine them into the surface transportation authorization, which needs to be renewed next fall. More

Key Legislation

Upcoming Events
April 3
|   TFIC Lobby Day
Springfield, IL

April 4 |   Infrastructure Council Q1 Meeting
Springfield, IL   

April 5   |   
Civic Federation Funding Forum
Chicago, IL  

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Not a member and want to learn more about the Illinois Chamber click here to contact Jeanette Anderson