Thursday, May 20, 2010

Support Builds for Marion's Millennium Development Project

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has called for the House to return to session on Monday and the Senate is expected to return next week as well.

When they do, state Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, plans to bring up SB 2093, the Innovative Development and Economy Act, for a vote. The Illinois House passed the measure May 7 sending it back to the Senate for a final vote.

The Edwardsville Intelligencer has one of the best wrap-ups of the progress so far with appropriate comparisons of the similarities and differences with the now-defunct University Town Center plan for Glen Carbon.
But one of the starkest differences between the Millennium Development and the UTC battle is the amount of mayoral support it has received.

Whereas the UTC was fought by roughly two dozen area mayors outside of Glen Carbon, a statement Wednesday released by Holland spokesperson Rebecca Rausch cites the support of retired U.S. Congressman Ken Gray of West Frankfurt, together with more than 25 area mayors, three county board chairmen, a county commissioner and a county supervisor.

Since then a number of school superintendents have also come out in favor of the bill, even a few that wouldn't benefit directly from the School Improvement Fund being funded by the development.

SB 2093 started off as a Senate bill on a completely different subject that passed the Senate and moved onto the House side for approval. With the support of the original sponsors, State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, amended the bill to create the STAR Bonds district for Marion. In parliamentary terms, the Senate now has to concur, or approve, the changes made by the House.

Forby formally filed the motion to concur on May 7 and bill now sits in the Senate Assignments Committee which will need to send it to either another committee for approval or could possibly approve it themselves and send it to the full Senate for a vote.

The local officials supporting the bill include the following:
  • Anna Mayor Steve Hartline
  • Benton Mayor Gary Kraft
  • Cairo Mayor Judson Childs
  • Carterville Mayor William Mausey
  • Cypress Mayor Neil West
  • Dongola Mayor Teddy Earnhart
  • Du Quoin Mayor John Rednour
  • Galatia Mayor David Harrowood
  • Goreville Mayor Larry Vaughn
  • Grayville Mayor Joe Bisch
  • Harrisburg Mayor Valerie Mitchell
  • Herrin Mayor Vic Ritter
  • Jonesboro Mayor Ken Blandford
  • Johnston City Mayor Ryan Horn
  • Marion Mayor Robert L. Butler
  • Mcleansboro Mayor Dick Dietz
  • Metropolis Mayor Billy Mcdaniel
  • Mounds Mayor Waymen Butler
  • Mounds City Mayor Sam Johnson
  • Murphysboro Mayor Ron Williams
  • Olmsted Mayor Curtis Marshall
  • Shawneetown Mayor Terry Williams
  • Stonefort Mayor George Jackson
  • Vienna Mayor Jon Simmons
  • West Frankfort Mayor Marion Presley
  • Zeigler Mayor Dennis Mitchell
  • Denning Township/Franklin County Supervisor Nancy Bundy
  • Gallatin County Board Chairman Randy Drone
  • Saline County Board Chairman Jim Fowler
  • Union County Board Chairman Randy Lambdin
  • Williamson County Commissioners Brent Gentry, Tracey Glenn and Ron Eillis
The superintendents showing support include:
  • Benton Consolidated High School District 103
  • Benton School District 47
  • Carterville Community Unit School District 5
  • Christopher Community Unit School District 99
  • Frankfort Community Unit School District 168
  • Marion Community Unit School District 2
  • Pinckneyville Community High School District 101
  • Sesser-Valier Community Unit School District 196
  • Zeigler-Royalton Community Unit School District 188

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