Supporting Continued Infrastructure Funding

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in CHI Contemplation
Tags: i make america campaign, infrastructure funding, st charles chamber of commerce

We’re encouraged to see that the Illinois Chamber of Commerce includes among its public policy priorities the continued funding of improvements to our state’s infrastructure. Doug Whitley, president of the Illinois chamber, will address this and other policy challenges Jan. 10 when he addresses a joint meeting of the St. Charles, Geneva and Elgin Area chambers of commerce.

Our state faces many pressing issues that all require funding, such as education, healthcare, job training, public pension reform and others. But if we are serious about keeping and attracting businesses – and providing a foundation for new growth and opportunity that can help fund all the other legislative priorities – Illinois must continue building, repairing and maintaining the roads, bridges, water systems and utilities that a thriving economy require.

A recent study by the Urban Land Institute found that the United States needs to spend a $2 trillion to rebuild infrastructure systems reaching the end of their planned life cycles. In the face of budget deficits and shortfalls, however, infrastructure policy has become a backburner issue, both at the federal and state levels. But that doesn’t stop us from feeling the effects at the local level.

Stimulus funds dwindling

In 2009, the federal government appropriated $62 billion in funding for transportation and water infrastructure under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that by this time next year, 90 percent of the funds made available through ARRA for infrastructure will have been spent.

Meanwhile emerging-market competitors such as China, Brazil and India are placing a high priority on infrastructure, with long-term public spending initiatives that eclipse U.S. infrastructure federal support.

We applaud and support our state and local chambers of commerce for their timely focus on the infrastructure crisis in Illinois. Our state sits at the crossroads of America – literally and figuratively – as we consider the crucial role Illinois has played in manufacturing, agriculture, mining, transportation, research, education and communications. Without a modern infrastructure to support these varied economic engines, Illinois cannot hope to compete with other states for the opportunities upon which our future prosperity depends.

We invite you to join Cooper Hong Inc., along with several of our clients, at I Make America, a free online campaign dedicated to increasing jobs for those who grow and build America. I Make America is an initiative of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Add your name to the growing list of Americans urging Congress to support pro-manufacturing policies in the United States. 


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