Below is an op-ed by Senator Hutchinson regarding the Illiana Expressway:

As the sponsor of legislation creating the Illiana Expressway, I am watching with interest recent media reports questioning the need and cost of this roadway.

Let me be clear: the need for the Illiana Expressway has never been greater. The Southland continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in Illinois with infrastructure development lagging behind.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) based its analysis on hypotheticals and seems more geared to provincial political concerns than project facts. In the Southland, we call this Chicago politics as usual.

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I recently joined with fellow Southland legislators to show support for the construction of the Illiana Expressway, which when finished will connect Interstate 55 near Wilmington to Interstate 65 in Northwest Indiana, creating up to 4,300 short-term construction jobs and having a $6 billion economic impact in northeastern Illinois.

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CHICAGO HEIGHTS – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D- Chicago Heights) hosted three back-to-school events over the past few weeks. Supported by business donations, these events provided school supplies to students throughout the area.

Sunday, Hutchinson teamed up with the city of Chicago Heights, as well as Rep. Anthony DeLuca, to help distribute backpacks filled with school supplies to students. This annual event at Chicago Heights City Hall also included free haircuts and dental examinations. Earlier in August, Hutchinson teamed up with Rep. Kate Cloonen to distribute backpacks at the Bourbonnais National Night Out celebration at Perry Farm and also in Hopkins Park.

“We need to make sure all of our students are prepared for class on day one,” Hutchinson said. “Thanks to generous donations from the business community and assistance from local officials, we were able to make sure that many students have the supplies they need for a successful school year.”

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053113br0465r“Illinois is fortunate to have one of the most expansive infrastructure networks in the country. We must invest in our infrastructure now and create the conditions for job opportunities to happen.”-State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D- Chicago Heights)

UNIVERSITY PARK - State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) joined the governor at a signing ceremony today for Senate Bill 20. This signing represents the next step toward the construction of the South Suburban Airport near Peotone. The plan will create thousands of jobs and increase economic development throughout the Southland.

“Illinois is fortunate to have one of the most expansive infrastructure networks in the country,” Hutchinson said. “We must invest in our infrastructure now and create the conditions for job opportunities to happen.”

Senate Bill 20 allows the Illinois Department of Transportation to develop, finance and operate any part of the construction of the South Suburban Airport through public-private agreements with one or more private entities.

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