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Rep. Reick shoots back at the capital bill naysayers

Friday, Jun 14, 2019

* Background is here if you need it. Rep. Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) has little patience for those in his caucus who are slamming legislators who stuck their necks out on the capital bill

Unlike those who voted against the capital bill so as not to soil their political hands by going on record as being willing to pay for those projects, yet who no doubt will celebrate when it comes time to break ground on them, I voted for that [Motor Fuel Tax] increase.

That vote was made somewhat easier because in 2016, almost four out of every five voters approved the Transportation Lockbox Amendment to our state Constitution, mandating that gas taxes only be spent on infrastructure.

We’ve seen what decades of neglect have done to our roads. Illinois’ infrastructure chickens have come home to roost, and anyone who tells you that all of this can be done by cutting spending elsewhere or waiting another 10 years for another capital bill is living in a dream world. I could not in good conscience expect $266 million to be spent in District 63 on such sorely needed projects and then ask everyone else in the state to pick up the tab.

Illinois stands at the center of the nation’s transportation system. Our roads, rails, airports and rivers carry more traffic than any other state in the Union. Illinois’ economy cannot grow without first-rate infrastructure. But it all comes at a price, and that bill needs to be paid.

* Meanwhile, you may recall this passage from the op-ed published by those eight House Republicans who denounced the infrastructure program

As fiscally responsible Republicans, we should be talking about why the state needs such a higher percentage of our money to deal with infrastructure. Why does it cost so much more per mile to build roads and bridges in Illinois compared to many other states?

Like so often is the case, in Illinois we suffer under heavy mandates and an adversarial regulatory environment that drives costs upward. We have onerous prevailing wage rates and our taxpayers potentially pay up to five times what taxpayers in neighboring Indiana pay for workers’ compensation.

Road construction workers do make a good living here - when they’re working. Workers’ comp is a real problem. And our regulations could always use a revamp.

* But there’s a certain glass houses argument that can also be made. For instance, Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) received almost $1.9 million in federal farm subsidy payments between 1995 and 2017. Another household member received $1.2 million during the same time period.

And Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) received about $794K in farm subsidies in that same timeframe.

I, for one, do not begrudge those folks one penny of their federal subsidies. Then again, I also don’t have a real problem with road construction workers who can make enough money to send their kids to college.

* Related…

* Illinois to pay for long-sought MetroLink extension to MidAmerica Airport: The extension would link the existing Shiloh-Scott station to the airport, which is in Mascoutah. Now, shuttle buses run between the two. Construction could take 18 months, he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Juvenal - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 9:58 am:

    Ouch, that is some serious opposition research.


  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    ===serious opposition research===

    A commenter pointed it out several weeks ago here. lol


  3. - PublicServant - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 9:59 am:

    ===I, for one, do not begrudge those folks one penny of their federal subsidies. Then again, I also don’t have a real problem with road construction workers who can make enough money to send their kids to college.===

    This. Some people need reminders.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    I don’t begrudge those getting federal subsidies but begrudge rank hypocrisy, screaming against government help others get but getting their own help at the trough.

    Good for Rep. Reick for standing up to critics and for our state to improve. Many roads are in bad or terrible shape. Many of us drive on these roads almost every day.


  5. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:06 am:

    I’ve never understood farm subsidies. Shouldn’t the free market dictate what to farm? Isn’t that the conservative approach?!?!?!


  6. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    When they start looking at real estate tax relief maybe we should revisit that farm land assessment.


  7. - Skeptic - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    “Shouldn’t the free market dictate what to farm?” If you want a stable food supply and stable prices at the stores, no.


  8. - Shemp - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    So how did Marengo get 26.9m for “water and/or wastewater projects?” Asking for a poor City that didn’t get squat.


  9. - Annonin' - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Begrudge? Just i.d. them as mooches who want everything for nuthin’ The EasternBlocHeads are the best GOP clown car ever. Maybe we cold ask the CarWash King(aka Schneider to mediate) BTW where has CommandoIves been. Missing those rants (not)


  10. - Are Ya Kiddin' Me? - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    - Skeptic - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:25 am:
    “Shouldn’t the free market dictate what to farm?” If you want a stable food supply and stable prices at the stores, no.

    Aren’t we…the taxpayers paying for the farm welfare with our tax dollars?
    So it’s a shell game….


  11. - Not a Billionaire - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:40 am:

    I do begrudge the no other small business gets free money . At most a few get a subsidized SBA loan and some other assistance which is nothing compared to farm welfare.


  12. - Honeybear - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    The Metro link expansion is a
    Total Game Changer
    for the Metro East
    Mid America has long been isolated
    Now that airport is going to take off.
    Taking a puddle jumper
    will become a viable option
    It will also make it an option for St. Louis
    residents.
    Amtrak at Alton
    and
    now easy access to Mid America
    The Metro East
    just made a huge leap
    Thankful


  13. - Southern Illinois Mayor - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:42 am:

    Hypocrisy, the politicians favorite sin.


  14. - efudd - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    Typical Republicans-
    When the federal government gives it to me, it’s a subsidy.
    When they give it to you, it’s welfare.
    And couldn’t understand the hypocrisy if you took a year to explain it to them.


  15. - Decaturland - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    Look at Rep. Caulkins. He made a very good living receiving Medicaid reimbursements from his family run developmental disabilities facility. Nothing wrong with it. He took a risk and profited. Just saying government comes in handy when it suits Danny boy.


  16. - JS Mill - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    Funny how some Farmers do not see themselves as socialists or welfare recipients and yet have some of the most conservative political views out there. Then you have this group of legislators that are also farmers…their hypocrisy knows no bounds.


  17. - theCardinal - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    Good for Riecke…. to tothers So knock the farmers if you want, but if the spring rains and summer heat burn up the crops this year you will see what AG economics 101 really looks like. Check out corn prices in the last week or soy beans too going up. Most people dont realize what the residual effects of a bad growing season look like. You’re about to find out. Reminder Agriculture is the #1 industry in the Once Great State of…not the incentivised/subsidised corporate entities in chi-town.


  18. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 12:25 pm:

    ==Then you have this group of legislators that are also farmers…their hypocrisy knows no bounds.==

    Am related to several farmers here in Illinois, also in Tennessee and Arkansas. Trust me, the hypocrisy is not limited to legislator-farmers alone; they’re all that way. They don’t want to pay to repair roads that they use to move their equipment around on and travel on when working various fields, they don’t want illegals here but are more than happy to hire them during planting and harvest, they constantly vote against property tax referendums but also constantly complain that their kid’s rural school building is old and falling apart, they freak out about government regulation and then also freak out when disease strikes their livestock and the government didn’t do enough to prevent it, etc etc. Trust me, the hypocrisy of farmers (at least those in my family) comes in all shapes and sizes


  19. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===not the incentivised/subsidised corporate entities in chi-town===

    Wow. So farm subsidies are OK, but not that? You just revealed more about yourself than you may have intended.


  20. - JS Mill - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    =you will see what AG economics 101 really looks like.=

    Yes, prices will go up for the consumer and the farmers will receive large insurance checks for the crops they did not plant.

    I couldn’t be a farmer and, in part, depend on the weather for my financial success or failure. I am just not wired to handle that.

    I know a lot of farmers and have had many as school board members. For the most part they are great people.

    But most of them are covered when things go south with crops unless they are leveraged to the hilt on bad land deals.

    =Reminder Agriculture is the #1 industry in the Once Great State of…not the incentivised/subsidised corporate entities in chi-town.=

    You are showing your ignorance or willful dishonesty. No industry is more incentivized or subsidized than Ag, big or small.

    Do yo know why farmers do not wear tennis shoes? Because seed companies do not give them away. A farmer told me that joke when I asked him about a jacket he was wearing (it came from a seed company).


  21. - theCardinal - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    Rich not saying that one subsidy better than the other, but don’t want the AG “incentives” to be judged as one being some special largesse over other forms of the same. Farmers get a check, businesses get a tax break its all the same in the end. I lived through the 80s in a farm community and saw the devastation farmers and small communities faced. Illinois can’t afford that again.


  22. - Southern Illinois Infrastructure - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 4:05 pm:

    A lot of the farmer subsidies are essential - especially in a season like this one where farming has been hard, due to flooding and tariffs. I just wish farmers in general would give government credit. I live in a far community and want to see farmers do well. It might be time for those people to stop voting against their own interests. It seems culturally conservative people are more susceptible to the propaganda tossed out by Proft and IPI for whatever reason.


  23. - Denise - Friday, Jun 14, 19 @ 4:20 pm:

    Want to hear about this train downstate. Is this a boondoggle train to Edgar’s boondoggle airport?


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