OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (May 2023) (Essex, IL) — The proud people of the Southland have heard talk about a new airport here for decades. It might finally be time to settle the issue, once and for all.
In 1993, a friend served on a committee aimed at finding partners to construct the airport and serve the growing south suburbs. The friend gave me a lapel pin that says “Airport 2000.”
Earlier this month, as we worked to wrap up the spring legislative session, I wore that lapel pin and told the story at a news conference of how 30 years later, here we are finally taking action to put the airport project into position to move forward.
The day before, the Illinois Senate approved House Bill 2531, which sets up a process for state transportation officials to find partners to develop the Peotone airport, which would serve commercial and cargo freight plane traffic. The project has run into obstacles and strong opposition from local farmers and environmentalists for decades, while supporters tout how bringing the cargo traffic to the area with all of the warehouse hubs already locating here will create thousands of short-term and long-term jobs.
The next step is for Gov. JB Pritzker to sign the bill, then work with his state agency to start the process of finding development and construction partners. If this moves forward as we envision, we can finally answer the many questions around the Peotone airport and let the marketplace decide if it can take off, so to speak. The Southland needs an answer.
With the summer season arriving, I know how important it is for people to enjoy hunting, fishing and more outdoor activities. I believe in proper state regulation to ensure the activities are done safely, but it also shouldn’t be a burden to get registered. I passed Senate Bill 3677 to create a three-year state license for hunting, fishing, trapping and sportsmen’s activities to save people time and hassle of more frequent renewals, and build up more revenue to support the state’s conservation efforts.
We take fire safety seriously. With Arson Awareness Week in May, I worked on House Bill 2372 this year to create new interventionist positions aimed at helping youth understand and respect the importance of fire education and using fire responsibly to save lives and prevent accidental blazes. On May 9, I joined my colleagues in the Legislature and many others to honor fallen fire fighters who gave their lives to protect ours, at the annual Firefighter Memorial service on the Capitol grounds.
Locally, I am proud to announce the beginning of much-needed safety and congestion improvements to the intersection of Illinois 50 and Armour Road in Bradley, which will also create new opportunities for growth and economic development in the area.
I will have more updates on my work in Springfield as Gov. Pritzker signs bills we acted on this spring. You can see the various bills I sponsored at the Illinois General Assembly website: https://ilga.gov/senate/
I urge you to contact me anytime I can help: 708-756-0882, or at http://www.
OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (May 2023)