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 7, 2019
The Senate Appropriations and Transportation Subcommittees on Capital held a hearing in Edwardsville on Monday. The hearing focused on the capital needs of the SIU university system and some general focus on the transportation needs of the area. Senator Sandoval pushed those who testified to indicate which new revenues they would support, but few were willing to endorse a specific revenue source.

The Senate's interest in discussing revenue was entirely opposite the House's approach. The House Appropriations-Capital committee met today to discuss roads and bridges needs and specifically requested that testimony not discuss revenue at this time. In addition to testimony from Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch, the committee heard from IDOT, representatives from the national ACEC and ARTBA groups--who discussed the nationwide picture and the economic impact of infrastructure funding--City of Chicago, Cook County, City of Springfield, County Engineers, CMAP, and Active Transportation Alliance. Testimony focused on the need for investment, with IDOT reiterating it needs an additional $13-15 billion more over the next 10 years to maintain its highway system..

Senate Appropriations and Transportation Subcommittees on Capital
  • Monday, March 18th at 1:00pm in Decatur
  • Monday April 8th at 3:00pm in Peoria
  • Tuesday, April 16th at 1:00pm in Chicago
  • Monday, April 22nd at 1:00pm in Elgin
House Appropriations-Capital
  • Thursday, March 14th: transit, rail, waterways, air, ports
Outside of transportation, discussions continued this week on SB 1532 and HB 3445, which are the bills focused on replacing the state's lead pipes. I think significant progress has been made since these bills were first contemplated but negotiations are ongoing and the language online does not reflect the latest discussions. There is still the question of how the lead pipe replacement program will be funded.

The Unlock Our Jobs Coalition submitted comments to the Army Corps of Engineers in response to the proposed plan for Brandon Road Lock and Dam. These comments represent a consensus position and can be viewed here.

SB 24, which mandates freight train crew size, was heard by the Senate Transportation Committee in a subject matter hearing. Because it was subject matter only, no votes were taken and the bill will need to be considered again in order to receive a committee vote.

You can review the legislation I am tracking at the links below. We have passed the bill introduction deadline, so if you see any legislation with which you have concerns, please let me know. I have included the summary of each bill in these reports.


The House Ways and Means Committee began looking at transportation funding this week with testimony from a variety of advocacy organizations, including the US Chamber and the AFL CIO. The focus in the hearing was the need for additional funding, rather than relying too much on financing. There seems to be disagreement in DC at the moment about whether to focus on a transportation funding bill ahead of the surface transportation reauthorization or to focus on the reauthorization. 
The Illinois Chamber has two events coming up. The first brings together women business leaders from across the State for the Chamber's second Women in Business conference on March 15th at Pinstripes in Oak Brook.  For more information, the agenda, sponsorship information, and how to register , visit the conference website.

Our second event is the Chamber's annual lobby day, Chamber Day, in Springfield. On March 20th, join other business leaders to hear from policymakers on a variety of topics.  If you would like to register, you can do so here .

Finally, I am nearing confirmation of our First Quarter Infrastructure Council meeting. I am hoping to have those details out soon.


Key Legislation

Upcoming Events
March 15
|   Women in Business Conference
Oak Brook, IL

March 20 |   Chamber Day
Springfield, IL   

April 3   |   
TFIC Lobby Day
Springfield, IL  

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