Bustos bill to improve Illinois Locks and Dams wins approval in House, moves one step closer to law

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos’ bipartisan legislation to help speed up repairs and upgrades to the aging locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers passed the House on a wide bipartisan basis. Provisions of her legislation, which was sponsored in the Senate by Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, was included in the Conference Report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. The report will now head to the U.S. Senate for a vote before making its way to the President’s desk for signature.

“I’m elated that our bipartisan, common sense idea to help modernize our region's aging locks and dams received overwhelming support today in the House and will now go to the Senate for a vote,” said Bustos, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a member of the WRRDA Conference Committee. “Improving our locks and dams is critical to our region’s economic health and we can't afford to wait any longer. To help jump-start these needed repairs and upgrades, I joined with Senators Durbin and Kirk and Congressman Rodney Davis to put forth a proposal that could both save taxpayer dollars and create jobs and boost the economy of our region of Illinois. I’ll continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure this important bill becomes law.”

In March 2013, Bustos joined with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL) to introduce the bipartisan, bicameral Water Infrastructure Now Public-Private Partnership Act. This bill would create a pilot program to explore agreements between the Army Corps of Engineers and private entities as alternatives to traditional financing, planning, design, and construction models.

The bipartisan, bicameral House Senate Conference Committee of which Bustos was a member of was tasked with working out the differences between the Senate-passed Water Resources Development Act of 2013 and the House-passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013. The Conference Report now must receive a vote by the full Senate, which could happen as early as this week.