Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SR0081
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Full Text of SR0081  96th General Assembly



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2     WHEREAS, The waterways system of the Upper Mississippi and
3 Illinois Rivers is a vital avenue of commerce, moving over $16
4 billion worth of material to and from the State of Illinois
5 each year; and
6     WHEREAS, 75% of Illinois agricultural products produced
7 for the export market are transported via the waterways system,
8 keeping them more competitive on the world market; and
9     WHEREAS, Billions of dollars in raw materials that supply
10 Illinois industry and support tens of thousands of jobs are
11 shipped to manufacturing facilities via the waterways system;
12 and
13     WHEREAS, Each year, barges on Illinois waterways help
14 reduce congestion on Illinois highways by transporting the
15 equivalent of 4.4 million semi-trailer trucks worth of
16 materials; and
17     WHEREAS, Transporting one ton of material by barge on the
18 waterways system produces four times less CO2 emissions than by
19 truck; and
20     WHEREAS, Shipping via waterways saves other businesses



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1 approximately $7 billion per year in transportation costs; and
2     WHEREAS, The waterways shipping industry directly employs
3 over 4,000 men and women in Illinois; and
4     WHEREAS, The locks and dams that make these waterways
5 navigable were constructed over 70 years ago and have become
6 both technologically obsolete and significantly deteriorated;
7 and
8     WHEREAS, The failure of just one lock along the system
9 stops all commerce along that river; and
10     WHEREAS, Such a lock failure would cause a significant
11 increase in highway congestion, negatively impact highway
12 safety, and worsen existing pollution problems; and
13     WHEREAS, Such a lock failure would cause thousands of
14 workers to sit idle, resulting in higher costs and shipping
15 problems for agriculture; and
16     WHEREAS, Plans are in place for a comprehensive
17 modernization of the national lock and dam and waterways
18 system, including along the Illinois, Mississippi, and Ohio
19 Rivers; and



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1     WHEREAS, Such a modernization program would result in a
2 major investment in Illinois' infrastructure, supporting
3 thousands of construction jobs, improving the shipping of
4 goods, and providing environmental benefits; and
5     WHEREAS, The Illinois Chamber of Commerce, with the support
6 of a coalition of business, labor, and agriculture
7 organizations, including the Illinois Corn Growers and the
8 Illinois Councils of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and
9 Joiners, have issued a report calling for support for the
10 modernization of the waterways system; therefore, be it
12 ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we encourage the
13 Illinois congressional delegation to support efforts to
14 undertake modernizations projects to improve the waterways
15 system in order to support the State's economic growth, reduce
16 highway congestion, and reduce pollution; and be it further
17     RESOLVED, That we pledge to work with the Illinois
18 congressional delegation to further our shared goal of waterway
19 modernization; and be it further
20     RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
21 presented to the members of the Illinois congressional
22 delegation.