Public Policy Newsletter
|Friday, October 28, 2016
Chicagoland Chamber’s Council on Logistics and Transportation Kickoff
On Thursday, October 20 the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce kicked off its new Council on Logistics and Transportation. This new Council will be the voice of business as it relates to transportation and infrastructure issues in our region and the State. The Council is co-chaired by Ray Drake, Vice President of State Government Affairs for UPS and Adrian Guerrero, Director of Public Affairs for Union Pacific Railroad. Participation in this council is by invitation-only.
We kicked off the meeting with a presentation from Edward Mortimer, Executive Director, Transportation Infrastructure, of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who is cautiously optimistic about congressional action. From there, the Council discussed the importance of technology in infrastructure; the need for increased funding at all levels of government; support for ensuring transportation funds are spent solely on infrastructure needs; and the opportunity to work with labor to pursue many complementary goals. The Council will draft policy principles, and develop federal and State legislative agenda for 2017.
During the Council’s first meeting, the Chicagoland Chamber welcomed a bi-partisan congressional panel of Representatives Mike Quigley (D, I-L5), Rodney Davis (R, IL-13), and Cheri Bustos (D, IL-17). The power of Illinois’ bi-partisan delegation and geographic diversity was acknowledged during a discussion on the challenges of pursuing common goals around infrastructure and transportation in today’s hyper-partisan environment. They spoke of the mutual goals around the issue and a continued commitment to work together to move Illinois and the nation forward.
Support the ‘Safe Roads Amendment’
The “Safe Roads Amendment” is a Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce supported ballot initiative that will be on the November 8 ballot. This initiative would amend the Illinois constitution to ensure all revenue collected for the purpose of funding transportation projects could be used ONLY for transportation infrastructure and could not be “swept” to fund other purposes.
To put in perspective, $6 billion in roads money has been swept for other purposes in the last 10 years, while our unmet capital needs have gone unfulfilled. A recent analysis by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that the U.S. would need to invest $3.6 trillion to bring our nation’s infrastructure to a state of good repair by 2020. In addition, a recent Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) analysis estimates that Illinois needs $43 billion over 10 years to close our infrastructure deficit.
It’s no wonder the conversation at the Council on Logistics & Transportation meeting focused much of its time on supporting this amendment. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce encourages you to vote “Yes” on the Safe Roads Amendment.
Early Voting Information
The Chicagoland Chamber encourages you to vote. Illinois makes voting easy by offering early voting stations in Counties throughout the state. Of course, you can also exercise your constitutional right to choose your elected representative on Election Day, November 8, 2016, at your local voting location.
Early voting sites are now open in Chicago, Cook County, and the Chicagoland region- DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Kendall, and Will counties. Click on any of the links to find your day of polling location or early voting site.
It is vital, regardless of your political leanings or preferences, that you exercise your right to participate in our democratic process.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce remains focused on our mission to serve our members by supporting pro-business policies that foster a more competitive economic climate for our region and Illinois. Our government relations team works with elected officials at every level of government on both sides of the aisle to protect our member interests. We are working every day at the City, County and State level of government to serve you.
About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce represents over 1,000 member companies, their 400,000 employees, and over $24 billion in revenue. We combine the power of our membership with our legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. We focus on delivering value for our members, making Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work. Visit ChicagolandChamber.org.