road construction

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced recently that it will be forced to suspend all projects if Illinois does not have a spending plan in place by June 30 of this year.

State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) expressed concern over the potential loss of jobs as well as stalling road projects that keep Illinois’ infrastructure up to date.
“The jobs that IDOT creates are jobs Illinois needs right now. The work IDOT does on our roads helps to keep our economy flowing and our state moving in the right direction,” said Clayborne.

Last month, the Illinois Senate approved a full-year budget that would give Gov. Rauner the authority to spend gas tax and road fund revenues on state transportation projects. Without the spending authority included in a budget, the governor will be unable to use these funds and state roadwork will be suspended.

“721 days without a budget is enough,” Clayborne added. “Our schools are in danger of closing, social service agencies are unable to provide critical services and now our roads will be crumbling. We have a solution to these issues: the balanced budget the Senate passed in May.”

If a spending plan is not reached, many local IDOT projects would stall, including road construction on the expanse of I-55 that runs through East St. Louis and construction on I-255 in Centerville.

Category: Frontpage

Clayborne React State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) released the following statement regarding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s unity speech delivered Tuesday evening in Springfield:

“The Senate passed a balanced budget in May with reforms requested by Gov. Rauner. Instead of supporting that plan, he pulled Republican votes off of it and allowed it to sit in the House until the regular session ended. The state has gone 720 days without a budget, and our backlog of unpaid bills has risen to $15 billion. I think Gov. Rauner’s call for unity is a little late.”

Category: Frontpage

East St. Louis Race Riots In May 1917, East St. Louis witnessed one of the worst race riots ever seen in the United States. Sparked by attacks on African American men and women following a union rally, the riots culminated in the burning of black neighborhoods and malicious attacks and murders of 200 African-American men and women.

Senate Majority Leader James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) passed a resolution Monday in remembrance of the events that took place 100 years ago.

“It is important we take time to reflect on and remember these events,” Clayborne added. “While we have made progress in race relations since the East St. Louis riots 100 years ago, our society remains contentious on race-related issues. To move forward, we must remember past actions and ensure the past does not repeat itself.”

In 1917, East St. Louis industry was booming. To fill the gap in the labor market, factory recruiters began looking toward the South for black workers. What became known as the Great Migration culminated in a competition for jobs. The labor issues became a racial issue, which quickly boiled over with rising tensions.

In early July 1917, the tensions became so bad that mobs of white men and women began setting fire to black neighborhoods, trapping people in their homes and shooting those who tried to escape.

With no effective interference from local police, the sheriff or military authorities, nearly 200 African American men, women and children lost their lives, more than 300 buildings were destroyed and 6,000 people fled from their homes.  It took days for the National Guard to gain control of the situation.

“The events that transpired in 1917 were terrible to say the least,” said Clayborne. “The social, political and cultural ramifications these riots had on the community are vast. With this resolution I hope to draw attention to those events so the city, the state and the country can reflect on the atrocities of the riots and continue to heal.”

The measure, Senate Resolution 337, observes May 28, 2017, as a day of remembrance in the state of Illinois on the centennial of the 1917 race riots. A copy will be sent to Marla Byrd, the commissioner of the East St. Louis 1917 Centennial Commission and Cultural Initiative.

For full text of the resolution click here.

Category: Frontpage

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