Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hearing Set for 10 a.m. Thursday on STAR Bonds Bill

The Senate's Committee on Assignments has sent SB 2093 to the State Government and Veterans Affairs Committee for a hearing tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. in Room 409 of the State Capitol Building.

Senate Bill 2093, the Innovative Development and Economy Act would authorize the creation of a STAR Bonds district in Marion for the proposed Millennium Development project.

The House of Representatives passed the bill earlier this month.

The committee's other business includes two Senate resolutions (SR 782 and SR 860) and SB3739, the Save Our Neighborhoods Act, which focuses on reducing the impact of home foreclosures in Illinois.

With a committee vote expected before noon, the Senate is expected to vote as early as that afternoon.

As the Marion Daily Republican reported in its latest on the plan, the project is expected to generate the following:
  • Create 6,000 jobs during construction and earnings of more than $174 million,
  • Create 5,686 full-time jobs (both direct and indirect) upon full completion with payroll to exceed $250 million,
  • Generate a "total market impact of goods and services produced in the region as a result of the development" by more than $395 million, and
  • Result in a $757 million positive impact on the region's economy.

In Mount Vernon, efforts to slow down/jump on board the idea of the STAR Bonds legislation took a hit when the Jefferson County Board declined to back the city's efforts.

... board member Dr. Pat Garrett countered that the board doesn’t know if they have anything to lose by supporting inclusion in the STAR bonds bill.

“I think you’d want to know the particulars,” Garrett said. “I don’t support this, because I personally don’t know enough.”

Garrett by the way is the former high school principal and later superintendent of the Mount Vernon Township High School district where current mayor, and former art teacher, Mary Jane Chesney taught before her retirement.

Garrett's reluctance to commit and Board Chairman Ted Buck unwillingness to fight irritated another board member who thought the board should take a position.
“To have such a noncommittal display from the board chair or Pat Garrett is a disgusting display of arrogance or ignorance,” he said.

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