IDOT: “project may or may not be terminated”

Springfield… The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a response to local lawmakers regarding the possible future of an Amtrak passenger rail service to Rockford. IDOT stressed that project stakeholders understand the status of the project and the possibility that it may or may not be terminated.

“The availability of funds for this project was falsely advertised.  There was no money designated for the project. It was an outrageous political lie by the prior administration,” said State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford).  “We must proceed cautiously and explore other means of developing transportation until IDOT determines their current and future fiscal outlook.”

“I am disappointed that this project continues to be delayed,” said State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Freeport). “IDOT confirmed that this project currently looks doubtful, however I am hopeful that future plans will continue to develop as we strive to address our States’ current fiscal mess. Until then, we will just have to wait.”

IDOT went on to explain that the Governor’s office is committed to turning Illinois around, but it has to first perform a comprehensive review of all spending and programs, including major infrastructure projects.

As the Spokesperson for the Appropriations Public Safety Committee, which appropriates IDOT, State Representative John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) expressed some concern for the future of the project.
  
“It’s unfortunate that this project continues to be unsuccessful, but the reality is the funds were never allocated. IDOT is in a difficult fiscal situation and will have to evaluate its long-term fiscal problems before committing to the project. I will have a better understanding as I work with Secretary Blakenhorn to appropriate IDOT’s FY16 Budget. However, we must first and foremost be stewards to the taxpayers of the state.”

“This is a project that we all want, and that I think everyone is excited about,” said State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford), “but unfortunately our last Governor made a promise that he never funded. In light of our state’s current fiscal condition, it looks like the project will continue to be delayed until suitable funding can be found.”

The Amtrak project to Rockford will be reviewed by IDOT and allow for locals to submit their concerns for the future of the project as they work to evaluate other projects around the State. 
Springfield… State Representative John M. Cabello (R-Machesney Park) has filed legislation to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois. House Bill 4059 would eliminate the language abolishing the death penalty that was passed in 2011 and creates the Capital Crimes Litigation Act of 2015. Rep. Cabello filed the legislation in response to the most heinous crimes involved in first degree murder charges.

“We need a mechanism in place for the criminals who decide to commit a heinous act that results in a violent death,” said Rep. Cabello. “This legislation is aimed to combat the worst of the worst. Criminals that decided to take the life of a first responder, child or multiple victims should have consequences that justify their actions.”

The bill narrows the list for prosecutors seeking capital punishment for a convicted first degree murderer to the murder of a peace officer, correctional employee or fireman while performing his or her duties, multiple murders, murder of a child under the age of 12, murder committed on school grounds, and murder as a result of terrorism.

“The bill is in the beginning stages,” said Rep. Cabello. “It’s still in rules and it may never be heard in committee, but I believe this legislation deserves the opportunity to be discussed. I will be working with legislators on both sides of the aisle as we move through the process.”

If passed, Illinois would become the 33rd State with the death penalty. House Bill 4059 currently sits in House Rules until it is assigned to a committee to be heard. 
State Representative John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) speaks in support of new legislation to combat the growing heroin epidemic in Illinois. House Bill 1 creates the Heroin Crisis Act and favors a number of changes that look to reform the process of how we target drug abuse in Illinois.


Springfield… Early this month, Gov. Bruce Rauner issued his 14th executive order to create the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. State Representatives John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) and Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) were tasked with representing the House Republican Caucus on the commission.

“We a have problem that deserves our full attention and I am confident this is the right step toward taking action,” said Rep. Cabello. “As the Republican Spokesperson for Judiciary-Criminal and 20 years of service in law enforcement, I believe my experience will help bring some new ideas to the commission. We have some serious issues to tackle and I look forward to getting started right away.”

The commission will be tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of the State’s current criminal justice and sentencing structure, sentencing practices, community supervision, and the use of the alternatives to incarceration.

“Recidivism in Illinois is dangerously high,” said Rep. Stewart. “48 percent of adult inmates and 53 percent of juveniles released from incarceration return within three years. This statistic should be shocking, but unfortunately it is a reality that we must address. As a former law enforcement officer, I understand this is going to be a challenge. However, Gov. Rauner’s swift action to create this commission could be the remedy to solving this vital issue.”

Imprisonment is Illinois’ most expensive form of criminal punishment. Taxpayers spend $1.3 billion on the Department of Corrections and $131 million on the Department of Juvenile Justice each year.