05092019 Manar

SPRINGFIELD – Improvements to the Illinois State Police Department’s Joliet crime lab and increasing contracting opportunities for minorities were the focus as lawmakers met Thursday in Springfield to hear about the state’s infrastructure improvement needs.

Members of the Joint Subcommittees on Capital, led by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), heard testimony from the Illinois State Police and members of local government about local infrastructure projects that need to be funded and potential revenue sources to pay for them.

“The depth and breadth of the state’s infrastructure needs is mind boggling. The takeaway from these Senate hearings is simple: There is tremendous need throughout Illinois for highway construction, bridge repairs, college and university building projects, environmental investments and more,” Manar said.

“Our challenge now is finding a way to pay for them. I’m eager to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a way to make these long-overdue investments in our infrastructure and make a plan for doing so on a more regular basis.”

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly recommended directing funding to improving to the department’s Joliet crime lab, which he said is in dire need investment to bring it up to current forensic science standards.

“The needs are getting to the point where it’s a desperate situation,” Kelly said. “There are people there that do hard work every day that are going to decide the fate of people who have been charged with a crime or that are going to decide whether a victim gets justice.”

The Springfield hearing was the eighth and final installment of the subcommittees’ tour of the state to hear input from interested groups about infrastructure improvement needs. Lawmakers will now consider the testimony they heard over the last few months as they develop a plan to fund construction projects in Illinois.

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Springfield Office:
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