Infrastructure is defined as the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed for the operation of a society. Not only roads, bridges and airports, it encompasses electric grids, water treatment facilities, mass transit systems and more. A $45 billion infrastructure plan was signed into law at the close of the IL legislative session with bi-partisan support.(SB 1939) While it comes with a price tag, double the state’s gas tax, annual automobile registration fee increases, etc., this is the first meaningful infrastructure bill since 1990. Click here to see the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s summary of the bill and planned allocations for infrastructure investments.
Since infrastructure is not a state specific issue, a larger federal investment is needed to have the intended result to positively impact our “arteries of commerce” on the broad scale. However, necessary strides have not yet been accomplished despite bi-partisan support in Congress.
The U.S. Chamber has joined forces with a number of transportation, business and labor groups to actively lobby for a much needed robust federal infrastructure investment. Click Here for video from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce underscoring the negative impact that chronic underinvestment in infrastructure is having on our economy and the safety of the motoring public as part of their, Let’s Rebuild America, campaign.
As with most issues, the task is to find the funding source for federal legislation to be successfully passed. An increase in the federal gasoline excise tax is an obvious source but with the recent increase in the state’s gas tax, not a popular option here in Illinois. Another option proposed by the U.S. Chamber is a plan to strengthen and expand federal loan programs to facilitate public-private partnerships.
We will keep you abreast of progress toward gaining the necessary infrastructure for our businesses to flourish. Please contact us if you would like to get more involved with our Business Works efforts.