Four years ago, we had leaky pipes, broken water mains and obsolete wastewater treatment facilities.
Some of the pipes still in use in Chicago were laid when Ulysses S. Grant was president of our country.
That’s why one year ago, right here in this chamber, I made a commitment to every Illinois resident to update our water systems and make sure that everyone has access to clean drinking water.
Through our Illinois Clean Water Initiative, we’re investing $1 billion in clean water.supporting more than 28,000 jobs to replace broken water systems, upgrade sewers, and clean up environmental threats.
And to Larry Swope of the Illinois Pipe Trades, and Jim Coyne, head of Plumbers Local 130: thank you for your hard work.
We’re investing in clean water in Pekin, in Princeton, in Hinckley, in Elmhurst, in Flanagan, and in Chicago.
And we have much more to do.
Soon, we’ll be putting workers on the job for new Clean Water projects in Kankakee, Murphysboro and all across Cook County.
We are leading the way in creating clean water jobs.
That’s our Illinois.
In our Illinois, small business means big business.
Driving economic growth for small businesses requires doing all we can to make sure government is not in the way while always protecting the health and safety of consumers.
Four years ago, Illinois had one of the most burdensome worker compensation systems in the country. That didn’t help our businesses or our workers.
So we reformed the system, saving business millions of dollars in insurance premiums. And we did it working together, with both parties. Thank you, Leader Christine Radogno.
Achieving this reform was not easy; but hard is not impossible.
Now, we all know that business requires capital. And four years ago, capital was hard to find as all of Illinois suffered from the Great Recession. So we invested in our small businesses, providing $23 million in federal funding to scores of companies through Advantage Illinois.