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2    WHEREAS, Illinois' economy depends on a robust and
3efficient transportation network; and
4    WHEREAS, The sheer size of our State, with automobile
5travel from the south to the north taking as much as 6 hours,
6leaves our cities and regions relatively disconnected from each
7other, slowing our economic growth; and
8    WHEREAS, One major transportation project can unite the
9entire State's economy, linking together business centers and
10generating efficiencies and economic growth; and
11    WHEREAS, An Illinois Department of Transportation study
12completed by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that
13an O'Hare-Union Station-Champaign-Springfield-St. Louis with a
14Champaign-Indianapolis branch high speed rail line would
15generate an operating surplus that would require no annual
16subsidy; and
17    WHEREAS, The next steps in the planning process for a
18statewide high speed rail line are an investment grade
19ridership analysis to allow potential private financing
20entities to assess the suitability of the high speed rail line
21for investment, as well as a clear Alternative Analysis that



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1considers other potential routes to connect O'Hare, downtown
2Chicago, and the central and southern parts of the State,
3including but not limited to an upgrade to 220 mile per hour
4service of the existing Amtrak service between Chicago Union
5Station, Joliet Union Station, Normal, Springfield, Alton, and
6St. Louis; and
7    WHEREAS, The extension of the Metra Electric line south
8from University Park through Will County to Kankakee has long
9been a transportation objective for the south suburbs; this
10high speed rail line would serve that market, bringing Kankakee
11County, Will County, and southern Cook County modern
12transportation access to Chicago and the southern part of the
13State; and
14    WHEREAS, The State-owned land for the planned South
15Suburban Airport becomes far more valuable if a high speed
16train station is built on that site and was incorporated with
17any future airport to be developed there, leveraging the
18State's existing investment in the South Suburban Airport; and
19    WHEREAS, Prior to the development of viable high speed rail
20connections, there are other infrastructure investments in the
21South Cook, Will County, and Kankakee County regions that would
22create a new transportation network and spur economic growth;
23nearly a million people live in South Cook, Will County, and



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1Kankakee County; the South East Service Line, the Illiana
2Expressway, and the South Suburban Airport are important
3transportation adjuncts which would highlight multi-modal
4investments and increase the viability for Chicago's
5Southland; and
6    WHEREAS, The convention business is a major industry for
7Illinois' economy; any way that could improve the
8attractiveness of our convention spaces like McCormick Place to
9major shows is a key component to Illinois' prosperity; and
10    WHEREAS, Connecting McCormick Place, the continent's
11largest exhibition venue, directly to O'Hare International
12Airport, the nation's busiest airport, significantly enhances
13the attractiveness of Chicago to trade shows, as it allows
14visitors to avoid the chronically congested Kennedy Expressway
15with a direct train ride to the existing Metra station in
16McCormick Place; and
17    WHEREAS, O'Hare International Airport to downtown Chicago
18would serve as the key anchor in a statewide high speed rail
19line; and
20    WHEREAS, Finding a way to connect the business traveler
21nodes of Aurora and Naperville with the high speed rail line to
22feed the network with the residents and business travelers



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1around the I-88 corridor would be extremely helpful to creating
2a financially viable high speed line; and
3    WHEREAS, While there may not be any obvious right-of-way
4available since the Canadian National acquisition of the EJ&E
5line in the western suburbs, perhaps there may be right-of-way
6owned by utilities that could be used to connect the western
7suburbs with the high speed rail line and this should be
8studied and considered as part of any statewide high speed rail
9line; and
10    WHEREAS, Supporting and building new technology companies
11is a key goal for creating more Illinois jobs; one of the
12world's greatest centers for cutting-edge research in
13technology and software is the University of Illinois at
14Urbana-Champaign, but Illinois has lost thousands of graduates
15to other states, which have created new technology companies
16worth tens of billions of dollars; and
17    WHEREAS, Connecting the University of Illinois at
18Urbana-Champaign to downtown Chicago via a 50 minute high-speed
19train ride is the best way to integrate the financial and
20business capital of Chicago with the intellectual and
21technological capital of Urbana-Champaign to support and
22create new billion-dollar technology businesses in Illinois;



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1    WHEREAS, Three Fortune 500 companies are in Downstate
2Illinois, Archer Daniels Midland in Decatur, Caterpillar, Inc.
3in Peoria, and State Farm Insurance Companies in Bloomington;
4providing a world-class high speed rail line from O'Hare to
5downstate Illinois with an eventual connecting train service to
6other communities would significantly improve the entire
7State's business climate, particularly for high-level
8corporate executives who require convenient access to
9international flights; and
10    WHEREAS, Placing the St. Louis-area terminus at the East
11St. Louis Metrolink station would not only save a billion
12dollars by avoiding the need to build a new bridge over the
13Mississippi River, as passengers could simply take the existing
14Metrolink from East St. Louis into Missouri, it would also
15serve as a game-changer for East St. Louis, one of the State's
16most economically challenged communities; and
17    WHEREAS, Several nations have sent trade delegations to
18Illinois expressing sincere interest in exporting their high
19speed train systems to our State; several nations have also
20offered to help finance a portion of the capital construction
21costs, including France, China, and Japan; and
22    WHEREAS, To date, Illinois has been unable to take



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1advantage of the interest from other nations in partially
2financing and constructing a high speed rail line, mainly due
3to a lack of planning; therefore, be it
6rescind the requests and statements made in House Resolution
7548 of the 99th General Assembly and urge the Governor, the
8Illinois Department of Transportation, the City of Chicago, and
9the members of the Illinois congressional delegation to accept
10in its place the statements and requests contained herein; and
11be it further
12    RESOLVED, That we urge Governor Rauner and the Illinois
13Department of Transportation to build upon the work of the 2013
14high speed rail report and immediately task their existing
15consultants to prepare an investment-grade ridership analysis
16for distribution to interested parties around the world; and be
17it further
18    RESOLVED, That we urge Governor Rauner and the Illinois
19Department of Transportation to seek federal planning funds to
20help pay for this study and to consider all potential
21alternatives for a true high speed rail line that would
22complement all existing Amtrak services; and be it further



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1    RESOLVED, That we urge all State agencies to provide any
2and all assistance to the City of Chicago in implementing this
3crucial transportation project; and be it further
4    RESOLVED, That we commend Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for
5his commitment to building high speed train service between
6O'Hare International Airport and downtown Chicago and urge all
7State agencies to provide any and all assistance to the City of
8Chicago in implementing this crucial transportation project;
9and be it further
10    RESOLVED, That we commend the Mayors and Village
11Presidents, Council of Governments, Chambers of Commerce, and
12south suburban legislators for their planning and foresight
13with projects like the proposed SouthEast Service Line and
14their commitment to high speed rail as a necessary part of
15their regional development plan; and be it further
16    RESOLVED, That we call upon Congress to return to their
17previous practice in Fiscal Year 2010 of appropriating $2.5
18billion in the annual federal budget for capital grants to
19states for high speed rail projects in order to help fund this
20high speed rail project; and be it further
21    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
22delivered to the Governor, the Illinois Secretary of



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1Transportation, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and the members of
2the Illinois congressional delegation.