State of Illinois Archives: on Technology
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Inside government over the past two years, we've made great strides in ethics reform. We closed the revolving door on Executive Branch employees leaving government to become administration lobbyists. We tightened the gift ban loopholes that lobbyists
and contractors used to influence regulators and win favor with decision makers. We increased transparency, so that any resident of the state can now go online and review state spending on contracts and at-will hires.
We required more comprehensive economic interest statements so we all could see who was being paid, and by whom. We cleaned up the hiring mess we inherited at IDOT--and we're working cooperatively to strengthen state hiring rules even more.
Our new Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIt) is moving millions of pieces of paper out of file cabinets and into the digital age. We are moving to a digital application process for professional licenses and reducing processing times by 70%.
Source: 2017 State of the State address to Illinois Legislature
Jan 25, 2017
Modernize transportation with federal infrastructure bank
Our nation is falling behind in maintaining and modernizing our transportation network, which hurts our economy and our ability to compete in the world. The problem is even worse in Illinois, where the budget deadlock in Springfield is preventing
investment in capital projects that could strengthen our state's economy.
This is why Raja is proposing to create a federal infrastructure bank. Such a bank could provide low-interest loans to states and cities to help finance crucial projects
like roads and transit system. It's a way around the politics that is paralyzing important local and national goals.
Raja would finance the infrastructure bank by ending the oil depletion allowance--a tax break for the oil industry that would
save more than $10 billion over the next ten years. That amount could generate close to $100 billion in capital for infrastructure projects around the country. Once capitalized, the bank would be self-perpetuating as its loans are repaid.
Source: 2016 Illinois House campaign website RajaForCongress.com
Nov 8, 2016
Longer-term government funding for infrastructure needs
Members of the Illinois Democratic delegation announced the results of a Department of Transportation audit report that made 42 recommendations as a result of the Sept. 26, 2014, fire at the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center. The Democratic
members used the report to make a push for longer-term government funding while Congress was debating a continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 11.
"We can't continue to lurch from one extension to the next,
we must come up with a plan before the end of the year to seriously address our nation's infrastructure needs," the Illinois members, including Sen. Richard Durbin, Rep. Tammy Duckworth and 4 other Democratic representatives, said in a joint statement.
Duckworth is running against Kirk for his seat.
But Kirk's office said the senator had already secured funding to improve security measures at Federal Aviation Administration facilities and last week's audit was information that was already known.
Source: Roll Call e-zine on 2016 Illinois Senate race
Oct 6, 2015
$15M for studying high speed rail
Senator Harris co-sponsored legislation SB1501: Appropriates $15,000,000 from the General Revenue Fund to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the purpose of preparing a federally approved
Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement for a high speed rail system. Effective July 1, 2015.
Source: VoteSmart synopsis of 2015-2016 Illinois voting record
Feb 20, 2015
Competitive bidding at Department of Transportation
Our agenda must be about empowerment, about empowering the people of Illinois to control their futures. Empowerment means giving local voters the ability to control the collective bargaining issues in their local governments. Empowerment means giving
governments the ability to lower costs by reforming project labor agreements and prevailing wage requirements that block true competitive bidding. These requirements can increase the cost of taxpayer-funded construction projects by 20%.
At the Illinois
Tollway, uncompetitive bidding has cost toll payers over $1 billion since 2005. At the Department of Transportation, uncompetitive bidding costs taxpayers more than $100 million per year.
Reforming the prevailing wage laws could save our schools
nearly $160 million every year. We must restructure bidding for construction projects at every level of government because reforms will save taxpayers billions--and we can reinvest these billions in even more capital projects to help our communities.
Source: State of the State address to 2015 Illinois Legislature
Feb 4, 2015
Largest infrastructure construction program in IL history
Exactly five years ago this day, I was sworn in as Governor, at Illinois' darkest moment. We were facing an unprecedented triple crisis of government corruption, economic collapse, and financial instability.
We had one former Governor in jail and
another on the way to jail. Our economy had plunged into the worst recession since the Great Depression, brought to its knees by greedy and corrupt financiers. And our financial house was on fire, set ablaze by decades of mismanagement and an utter lack
of willingness to make the tough calls.
But over the past five years, we've rebuilt one hard step at a time. And we've been getting the job done. Illinois is making a comeback.
When I took the oath of office, state government hadn't properly
invested in our infrastructure in 10 years. Within 10 weeks, we passed the largest construction program in Illinois history. So far, we've built and repaired 7,595 miles of road, 1,311 bridges and 978 schools.
Source: 2014 State of the State speech to Illinois legislature
Jan 29, 2014
Create next-generation jobs with "1871" digital hub
To create 21st century jobs, we're investing in innovation. We helped create 1871, a digital hub that has become home to more than 200 startups. But there's more to be done. Now is the time to take that same innovative, public-private approach to
In the last 3 years, manufacturing has been one of our state's leading growth sectors, creating nearly 40,000 new jobs. We're at the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing, and we need to stay there.
That's why we're
partnering with the University of Illinois and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications to create an advanced manufacturing hub where companies--big and small--come to learn and use the world's most sophisticated tools and software.
The Illinois Manufacturing Lab will make our manufacturers more competitive.
Now, in our Illinois, we leave no worker behind. As we create next-generation jobs, we must ensure that our workers are equipped for them. We're closing this "skills gap."
Source: 2013 State of the State speech to Illinois Legislature
Feb 6, 2013
Protect intellectual property rights, including lawsuits
Q: What else is on your [investment] list that can get our viewers excited?
Oberweis: What has been a great area in the last couple years are folks buying and selling patents. We own a company called Acacia Technology that goes to companies, buys
patents or licenses patents, and then sues to enforce them or license them to those that are infringing.
Q: Aren't these just bloodsuckers, leeches just trolling and being a bane to everybody?
Oberweis: Some have said that. First of all, they're
profitable leeches, if you take that connotation. But I would say no. They do fulfill a niche, and here's the niche. XYZ company is a small company, they do business with Microsoft, Microsoft infringes their patent. And if they decided to sue Microsoft,
Microsoft buries them in paperwork for the next 20 years. I am a strong believer that intellectual property rights need to be protected. It's Acacia's business, and they help companies in that situation because that's their sole business.
Source: Forbes Magazine interview on 2014 Illinois Senate race
Jan 5, 2012
Pay backlog of $280M for mass transit
Illinois' backlog of payments to the state's transit systems is now more than $280 million. Millions of people living and working in Illinois rely on our mass transit systems, including 2 million trips per day in Northeastern Illinois alone.
Delayed payments to the Regional Transportation Authority for CTA, for Metra, and for PACE harms the ability of our people to get to work. In addition, the state has been forced to pay more for procurement contracts, simply because we do not pay on time.
Vendors are not bidding competitively--our bids are 6% to 10% higher than they should be--because those contracting with the state expect long delays in payment. This is not insignificant; we pay $700 million to 1$ billion extra per year as a result.
Even with our new revenues, if we do not restructure our debt it will take decades for us to return to the prompt payment cycle of a fiscally responsible government.
Source: Illinois 2011 State of the State Budget Address
Feb 16, 2011
Ban texting while driving
There's a passage in Scripture that says, if you save one life, you save the whole world. And this year in Illinois, a historic year, 2009, for the first time since 1921 we had less than 1,000 deaths on the highways of Illinois.
Now that took a lot of work. It took State policemen on the highways, the Department of Transportation. We passed a law this year, a very important law that will ban texting while driving.
Source: Illinois 2010 State of the State Address
Jan 13, 2010
Transportation projects are top priorities in Illinois
Q: What infrastructure projects do you think are priorities in Illinois, and which ones would you work for?
A: Starting with the problem that supports one of the most important sectors in our state, which is the need to take the 70-year-old locks and
dams that have been preserved by the Corp of Engineers, but which everybody knows now are in need of attention so that we can maintain the transport system that supports our agriculture. That would be a first priority. Second, we have the problem of
congestion in the air space over OíHare that has been held up by a whole bunch of political paralysis; people paying lip service to what needs to be done, while they stand back in fear of having to deal with what is really, at the end of the day, an
effort to control the situation politically. We need to integrate central & southern Illinois into this plan, by making sure that we have encouraged Amtrak to develop its full potential for rail transportation, that knits together our whole state.
Source: IL Senate Debate, Illinois Radio Network
Oct 12, 2004
Invest on transportation and clean coal technology projects
Freight rail is important, and thatís part of what makes us the transportation hub of the nation. We need to significantly improve on it. Thereís already a program in place called CREATE that would create a public/private partnership in order to improve
our rail line capacity. The south suburban airport is a good idea-although we may depart on how to build it. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., has come up with a plan that involves private investors willing to lay out the risk for this project, and we
should get moving on it quickly. I do believe in OíHare expansion. Thatís the crown jewel of our transportation system. Locks and dams has already been mentioned. The FutureGen Project down in southern Illinois, that could do something about revitalizing
the coal industry in southern Illinois by funding a billion-dollar project to develop clean coal technology, so Illinois coal can be utilized in a way thatís environmentally sound. One of our highest priorities has to be energy independent in the future.
Source: IL Senate Debate, Illinois Radio Network
Oct 12, 2004
Page last updated: Feb 28, 2017