Public works program
The Illinois Appellate Court's recent ruling to strike down a $31 billion capital construction plan was an arrow through the heart of those of us in the construction industry, who were counting on the public works program to help small businesses while creating as many as 439,000 jobs over six years ("Setback for $31B in state projects; Appeals court tosses out legislation with video poker, tax hikes," Page 1, Jan. 27).
The taxes and fees outlined in the legislation would have funded a variety of construction projects, ranging from university buildings to a major overhaul of state highways.
As the owner of a small electrical supply company, I know Gov. Pat Quinn's program would have helped hundreds of other women- and minority-owned businesses gain access to subcontracting opportunities – opportunities that would enable our small businesses to grow . . . and hire.
Quinn and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's offices, with bipartisan support from the Republicans, have said they will appeal the Appellate Court's decision. We urge them to do so.
As our state struggles to emerge from the worst recession in recent memory, it is critical that a resolution be found, and quickly, to save one of the best plans that Illinois has to get the economy back on track.
– Colleen Kramer, president, Evergreen Supply Co., Chicago
From the Opinion page of the Chicago Tribune, Friday, February 18, 2011