Jan. 22, 2019—The following resolution urging Congress to establish a National Infrastructure Bank was introduced into the Illinois state legislature in late December by Representative Mary Flowers (D-31). For a short video explaining how such a bank would work, click here.
WHEREAS, The United States is in a deep infrastructure crisis; the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the North American Building Trades Unions all estimate the infrastructure shortfall at approximately $4 trillion; this does not account for needed spending on new projects, including high-speed rail systems, water projects, a modernized power grid, and nationwide broadband; and
WHEREAS, The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the State of Illinois a grade of C+ on its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card ; on the state of its roads, the State received a grade of a D and was ranked third worst in the nation in travel delay and truck congestion; the State has 2,300 structurally deficient bridges, and many of the State’s over 1,500 water systems were built in the first half of the 20th century and now need urgent repair and replacement; and
WHEREAS, While the State can partially finance many projects, it needs a funding partner to address all of the infrastructure needs; the proposed National Infrastructure Bank could join with all states, including Illinois, and with public banks to provide the necessary funding for everything from mass transit to clean water, rural broadband, and passenger and high-speed rail; and
WHEREAS, The Bank would be capitalized at $3 to $4 trillion with little new taxpayer money; the Bank would be funded on the successful model of Alexander Hamilton’s First Bank of the United States and subsequent National Banks, including the Lincoln Banking Acts and Franklin Roosevelt’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation; the Bank would repurpose existing Treasury debt to useful projects; and
WHEREAS, This project has been endorsed by many labor organizations and institutions, including the Democratic Municipal Officials, the National Federation of Federal Employees, the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Association; resolutions in support of this project have been filed by 16 state legislatures; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ONE HUNDRED FIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that the Illinois House of Representatives hereby calls upon the Congress of the United States to introduce legislation to create this new National Infrastructure Bank, which will enable our nation to erect a new infrastructure platform appropriate for the 21st century; and be it further
RESOLVED, that suitable copies of this resolution be delivered to all members of the Illinois delegations to Congress and to the President of the United States for their immediate consideration and action.