Bustos repeatedly pressured Governor Rauner to act before leaving millions of job-creating federal dollars on the table
WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congresswoman Cheri Bustos announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation and Federal Rail Administration have agreed on an extension for the state of Illinois to use $177 million in federal funding for a Quad-City to Chicago passenger rail project. Bustos, who serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, pressured Governor Rauner for months to either allocate these previously approved federal dollars or request an extension before they expired on June 30, 2016. After Bustos wrote the Governor in April and resent the same letter with handwritten edits underscoring the urgency of this matter two weeks before the deadline, Governor Rauner relented and agreed to request an extension after more than a year of delays. That extension is now official.
“Making investments in our infrastructure creates good-paying jobs and spurs new economic development opportunities, so I am proud that we stopped the State from leaving $177 million in federal funding on the table,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “I am very pleased that the Illinois Department of Transportation and Federal Rail Administration have agreed to an extension through September 30, 2017, but we still have a lot of work to do to ensure this project gets completed. During these tough economic times, we simply can’t afford to turn down any opportunities to create jobs and get Illinois back on the right track.”
“FRA is encouraged that the State of Illinois has recommitted to restoring passenger rail service between the Quad Cities and Chicago. This would not have happened without the strong partnership FRA has with the Illinois delegation and it would not have happened without Rep. Bustos’ unwavering persistence.” — FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg