To the Editor:
Where would the Illinois Valley be today without canal diggers in the 1840s? The 1850s railroads? Or today's interstates?
The Valley grew because we had transportation. Today, our transportation system is ragged, rough and run-down.
Hopefully, our economic future will look up, because our state legislators recently passed a multi-year infrastructure bill, which will fill those potholes, repair bridges, rail, airports and renew water lines.
Our new Governor, J.B. Pritzker, shepherded that bill through the legislature, engaging both parties. It was a breath of fresh air in Springfield when a capital bill passed with bipartisan support. I especially want to commend our three local legislators, Sen. Sue Rezin and Reps. Lance Yednock and David Welter.
Voting to fix roads is always popular. These three also cast their vote for the harder subject, raising the gas tax and license fees to pay for the projects. The resulting bill is not a one-time, float more bonds and put the state deeper in debt solution, but a 10-year, sustainable way to fix the potholes.
We voters should also remember that in 2016 we voted a "lock box" constitutional amendment, that gas tax and other fees can only be used for their intended purpose, not diverted to other uses. Hopefully, with our new governor and bipartisan legislation, Illinois' economy and well-being is on the rise.
KEVIN DALE, business manager, Laborers Local 393, Marseilles