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|US Senator Endorses Railroad Improvement Fund to Benefit Galesburg
|POSTED 11:15am 1/18/12 One federal lawmaker says the gas tax receipt is down, meaning federal funds are lacking for transportation upgrades, but he's backing legislation that may reverse the tide.
U-S Senator Mark Kirk was in Galesburg Wednesday touring the BNSF hump yard. The Highland Park Republican says he's working with State Representative Don Moffitt and State Senator Darin Lahood to create a state, federal, and private sector partnership. He says this can lead to continued expansion of Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
Kirk tells WGIL his Lincoln Legacy Infrastructure Development Act removes the barriers to public-private partnerships-- like the one between BNSF and Galesburg.
"By one estimate it unlocks $100 billion in new funding for new infrastructure, without borrowing from China," Kirk said after touring the BNSF tower Wednesday. "I think we should recover our economic heritage under Abraham Lincoln. And my hope is the Railroad Improvement Fund, which is a key part of my legislation, is used to expand employment right here in Galesburg."
In the past, Kirk says Illinois has long been recognized nationally as the best place to build and expand business because of its central location and logistics.
He's worried the state's economic reputation has been damaged with a second consecutive governor going to prison.
But he's hopeful new partnerships can lead to recovery and restored spirit.
(TOP: US Senator Mark Kirk sits beside 74th District State Representative Don Moffitt as he hears from city officials and BNSF representatives on the growth of Galesburg's largest employer; MIDDLE (left to right): State Representative Don Moffitt, US Senator Mark Kirk, and State Senator Darin Lahood; BOTTOM: Participants for Kirk's visit to Galesburg's BNSF Railyard share one final moment together; WGIL News Story and Photos by Kyle Schassburger).
|01 18 12 by Newsroom
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