Road Construction AheadA much-needed bridge repair off Illinois 143 along the SIU Access Road is on the list of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s projects for this year thanks to a budget agreement State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) helped to approve.

Currently, the bridge is a patchwork of asphalt and concrete. The construction project includes $5.3 million to repair structural damages and the bridge deck. On average, more than 5,000 vehicles a day cross its northbound and southbound lanes.

“I am happy to have helped bring this project to our community,” Haine said. “The SIU North Access road is a heavily traveled route for students at SIUE and many others in our community. Ensuring the upkeep and functionality of the bridges and roadways along it is important for all of those who use it.”

This project is just one of many Metro East projects included in the agreement. Statewide, nearly $2 billion worth of construction would have shut down on July 1 if no budget was in place.


Category: News

Stopgap BudgetThe Illinois General Assembly passed a measure Thursday that would help bring an end to the budget crisis, keep construction projects going and help human service providers open.

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton), who supported the measure, said he is happy to find compromise in this legislation.

“What we passed today will help keep jobs in the Metro East by ensuring IDOT has the resources to keep its road construction projects going,” Haine said.  “But that’s not the only win we had today. If the governor honors his commitment and signs this legislation, human services agencies like Senior Service Plus, Impact CIL and St. John’s Community Care will finally receive some of the relief they need to keep their doors open and serve seniors and those with disabilities.”

The measure also contains Capital Development Board projects, including renovations for the old science building at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and improvements to residential buildings at the Alton Mental Health center.

“This is great. I have been a longtime supporter of SIUE and the Alton Mental Health Center, and I will continue to help bring similar projects to my district,” Haine added. “I urge the governor to sign the legislation as soon as possible so we can move forward and get Illinois back on track.”

The measures passed both the House and the Senate on Thursday and now will be sent to the governor’s desk for his approval.

Category: News

042016CM1172 A new  fully funded, clean education spending plan that would increase funding by $760 million to the P-12 budget will be heard in the Senate Wednesday.

The proposal, Senate Bill 2054, would mean an increase in in over $6 million to schools throughout the Metro East.

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) said he intends to put his full support behind the measure when it comes before the Senate.

“We need an effective, clean proposal to ensure our schools receive important resources to provide our kids with a good education,” Haine said. “This proposal does just that. I want to make sure our schools open on time, and this proposed legislation will insure this happens.”

The General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene Wednesday at noon.

Category: News

State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) continued his tour of human service agencies on Wednesday by visiting Impact CIL in Alton to see how the budget impasse continues to affect human service agencies and the citizens of his district.

haine impac3Impact CIL, an organization that helps the disabled, currently has a sign posted on its front door that reads, “Due to the state budget impasse our office will be closed on Fridays until further notice.” A step inside and the employees and Executive Director Cathy Contarino will give testament to just how dire the situations is.

“The services that Impact CIL provides helps people to live independently in the community, which in turn saves the state money,” Contarino said. “Without our services, individuals could be forced back into living in a nursing home or another institution with no quality of life.”

Due to the impasse, the organization has been forced to lay off three employees; others have had to take a reduction in salary, and some forced to take furlough days.

Contarino went on to explain how the budget impasse has been devastating not only to the individuals Impact CIL serves, but also its staff.

Haine visit with Impact CIL 2“We have staff who are about to lose their homes because we have been forced to go on a permanent furlough. We need to find a compromise and a solution. We need our government officials to work together, and for the governor to stop playing politics and come up with a solution,” Contarino added.

Before adjourning in May, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 2038, a stopgap budget for social services. The measure would free up state funding to keep organizations like Impact CIL afloat.

“This situation is just catastrophic,” Haine said. “I visit these organizations that provide these essential services and I am hearing the same devastating story over and over again. The governor has a plan on his desk that we passed in a bipartisan fashion that would help to alleviate these issues. I just don’t understand why he is dragging his feet on this.”

Impact CIL provides services such as helping people live independently, providing important information to the disabled, peer counseling and training to help people live independently. They currently serve people across Madison, Calhoun, Jersey, Greene, Macoupin and Bond counties.


Category: News


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