On June 2, Senate lawmakers passed a capital infrastructure package that directs hundreds of millions in funding toward projects in Southern Illinois, a balanced budget that includes critical funding for the Cairo river port terminal and gaming expansion legislation that enables the Walkers Bluff winery to move forward with resort expansion.
“The actions taken here today show promising progress for the state, signaling a significant investment and renewed development in Southern Illinois,” said State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg). “While I don’t agree with everything included in the budget or the capital package, that’s what compromise looks like. It’s encouraging to see that Southern Illinois will receive critical funding to support ongoing infrastructure needs in the region and that lawmakers could come together in a bipartisan manner to support substantive legislation that will create jobs and opportunity for my constituents.”
Senate District 59 has been allocated over 270 million dollars in capital spending, funding over a hundred various road and bridge projects throughout the region.
“Even though some of the aspects of the capital package require a bit of give-and-take, the reality is the roads and bridges throughout Southern Illinois are deteriorating and lawmakers needed to act,” said Fowler. “This huge investment in the transportation infrastructure of our region will also be a huge job creator for Southern Illinois.”
Additionally, funding has been promised for the ongoing river port terminal project in Cairo. The proposed terminal would be constructed at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
“Bringing a river port terminal to the City of Cairo has been an ongoing priority of mine since taking office, and I’m excited to see support and funding being directed toward a project that would help revive Cairo and the surrounding areas and encourage future economic growth,” said Fowler.
In addition to funding for the Cairo river port terminal, Senator Fowler also noted the number of pro-growth reforms included in the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2020 budget plan.
Blue Collar Jobs Act: Incentivize large-scale construction projects and jobs investment in Illinois by providing tax credits to companies that invest to build, renovate or expand a facility.
Manufacturer’s Purchase Credit: Extends the tax credit to include certain supplies and consumables used in a manufacturing facility.
Illinois Franchise Tax Elimination: In an effort to encourage more franchises to open in Illinois, beginning in 2020, the corporate franchise tax will begin to phase out and will be completely eliminated by 2024.
Tax Amnesty Program: Incentivizes businesses that are delinquent or late on tax payments by offering them a one-month grace period to pay what they owe free of any penalties, interest, or fees.
“Included in the budget proposal are critical pro-business reforms needed to provide relief to our employers and tax credits for job-creators in Illinois,” said Fowler. “Meanwhile, we were able to balance the budget without raising taxes. It just demonstrates that progress doesn’t have to be placed on the backs of taxpayers.”
Finally, Walkers Bluff will receive the gaming license needed to move forward with an on-site casino. The large-scale construction project is expected to generate:
1,250 construction jobs;
726 permanent jobs;
$15 million in local annual revenue;
$34 million in local employment; and
$42 million in labor income
“This expansion package recognizes the potential of Walkers Bluff and will be a game changer for Southern Illinois,” said Fowler. “Walkers Bluff will be a major tourism destination in the region, bringing in thousands of visitors, creating real opportunities within our communities and generating critical revenue for the district.”