MOLINE – State SenaHalpin QC Passenger Rail2023tor Mike Halpin join Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati’s press conference on Monday regarding the Quad Cities Passenger Rail project that has been in talks for years.

“This money was there when I first took office in January 2017 and Governor Pritzker announced its renewal with our 2019 budget during his first year in office,” said Halpin (D-Rock Island). “Too much time has passed to simply rely on Iowa Interstate Railroad to do the right thing.”

The rail project has had the support of multiple presidential administrations, governors, state representatives, state senators, mayors and city councils. Despite agreement on the need for the project, Iowa Interstate Railroad, a private company that controls the 50 miles of track that would connect Chicago and the Quad Cities, has been a barrier to getting the project finalized.

Negotiations with Iowa Interstate Railroad over how to implement passenger rail service have been going on for several years despite bipartisan agreement on the project. Senator Halpin addressed in his speech that funds for the project had been pledged with significant state and federal money. The rail would directly connect Moline and Chicago if implemented.

“I am urging Amtrak, with the support of the Illinois Department of Transportation, to initiate proceedings with the Surface Transportation Board to order Iowa Interstate to provide the necessary facilities and to order reasonable compensation to Iowa Interstate for the use of those facilities,” said Halpin.

HalpinSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Halpin advanced a measure through the Senate State Government Committee which will require lodging establishments in Illinois to provide Human Trafficking Recognition Training (HTRT) to their employees in order to receive state and local funds.

"Human trafficking is a terrible crime that destroys lives and tears apart families," said Halpin (D-Rock Island). "We have a responsibility to do everything we can to combat this heinous practice and ensure that our state is a safe and welcoming place for all people.”

The legislation aims to combat human trafficking in Illinois by ensuring that employees of lodging establishments are trained to recognize and report signs of human trafficking. By making HTRT a requirement for lodging establishments to receive state and local funds, the bill will create a strong incentive for businesses to invest in training their employees and help prevent human trafficking from occurring in Illinois.

"Human trafficking is a global problem, but we can make a real impact right here in Illinois," said Halpin. "We need to stand up and say we will not spend taxpayer dollars at hotels who fail to provide this training.”

Senate Bill 1236 passed the Senate State Government Committee on Wednesday and awaits further action.

Halpin Budget

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Halpin responded to the governor’s proposed budget address Wednesday.

The governor’s proposed budget includes an increase of $219 million to higher education institutions, including a seven percent increase across the board for operations.

“The future of higher education in Illinois starts with making this much needed increase,” Halpin said.  “By investing in our colleges and universities, we are investing in the future of our state and ensuring that our students have the opportunity to receive a quality education and compete in the global marketplace."

The governor’s proposed budget also includes $10 million for a clean energy Career and Technical Education pilot program to assist high schools with developing and programming that supports electric vehicle manufacturing.

“As budget negotiations continue, I look forward to making sure Western Illinois gets its fair share,” said Halpin. “I hope the governor maintains his commitment to rebuilding Illinois’ infrastructure and providing alternative paths for our next generation who are seeking alternatives to college.”

macomb1MACOMB – With the support of State Senator Mike Halpin, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced the City of Macomb will receive $3.25 million to improve transportation as part of the historic Rebuild Illinois capital program.

“In order for the City of Macomb and WIU to grow, we need to make proper investments in infrastructure,” said Halpin (D-Rock Island). “Macomb is a great place to live and work, I will continue to push the state to properly fund transportation services.”   

The third round of Rebuild Illinois grants provides $113.8 million for Downstate transit providers as part of the historic Rebuild Illinois capital program. Awards are supporting projects that include the purchase of new vehicles as well as the construction of stations and maintenance facilities that improve service.

The City of Macomb will receive $3,250,000 for replacement buses, facility renovations and demand response software.

To find a full list of projects, visit IDOT’s website.

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