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Ray LaHood Praises Passage of Illinois Capital Bill

A former U.S. Secretary of Transportation from Peoria is applauding the Illinois General Assembly for passing its first capital bill in 10 years.

The bill included this week’s doubling of the state gas tax. Ray LaHood served as the Secretary of Transportation in the Obama administration and as a Republican representative in Congress. He said the bill was “long overdue.”

"It's a big deal, and they put the money behind it also. Raising the gas tax was very, very important. It hasn't been raised in a very long time, and indexing it to the cost of living means they don't have to come back and revisit it every year," LaHood said. 

He said Illinois’ neighboring states like Iowa and Wisconsin have been more successful in attracting businesses, partly due to better investment in their infrastructure. 

"The first thing that a business looks at when they look at an area is the infrastructure there. Are the roads in good repair? Is there good sewer and water? Are there good facilities? And this capital bill really addresses us catching up," he said. 


LaHood said he hopes the bipartisan effort on this bill will lead to more consistent infrastructure funding in the state.

LaHood used to represent Illinois’ 18th Congressional District, now held by his son Darin LaHood.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.
Mary works as an intern for NPR Illinois' Illinois Issues. She is currently a student in the Public Affairs Reporting master's degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield and will graduate in May 2018. Prior to coming to Springfield, Mary worked as the Editorial Intern at the Chicago Sun-Times. She obtained her bachelor's degree in journalism from Illinois State University where she served as the school newspaper's news editor and editorial writer. Mary is from Naperville, Ill., and attended Wheaton Warrenville South High School.