Schimpf reviews spring legislative session - Republic-Times | News

Schimpf reviews spring legislative session

By on June 13, 2018 at 2:50 pm

State Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo)

State Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) accomplished five of his eight legislative priorities for the spring legislative session. 

The other three items, including a proposal regarding the Southwest Illinois Connector, failed.

Three of the eight items on Schimpf’s to-do list were included in the state budget passed last week. Those items were funding for bond payments the state owed to Sparta, providing backpay for state workers promised a bonus in 2008 and a buyout proposal similar to one Schimpf suggested to help reduce pension debt. 

Additionally, Schimpf called two more items from his agenda an “unqualified success.”

First, he got Southern Illinois University Carbondale to agree to conduct strategic planning studies for the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta and Pyramid State Park in Perry County. Schimpf decided to go that route over pushing legislation through the General Assembly.

Schimpf also succeeded in getting legislation passed that expanded the opportunities active duty military personnel and their spouses have to obtain teaching licenses. 

It was not all wins for Schimpf, however, as he had three priorities he described as items he “didn’t have 100 percent success on.” 

One of those items was Schimpf’s resolution to create the Southwest Illinois Connector Task Force that stalled in the House. The bill passed in the Senate on May 10 and is currently awaiting a vote in the Illinois House of Representatives. 

“The grade is incomplete at this point,” Schimpf said of the bill.

The resolution calls for the study of the cost, feasibility and environmental impact of a proposed four-lane divided highway from Waterloo to Murphysboro. The study would also assess the short and long-term economic impact to the region, and public and private options for funding.

“I’m disappointed that both houses were unable to complete the action on this resolution prior to adjournment,” Schimpf said. “The lack of urgency in Springfield regarding our region’s infrastructure remains one of my greatest frustrations…>>>

Read the rest of this article in the June 13, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times newspaper.

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James Moss