Flickr user J Stephen Conn (cc)
The recently released governor's transition report lays out a strategy for strengthening Illinois.
Reliable and Predictable. Trustworthy. Efficient. Innovative.
When we hire someone to do a job, we’re investing in someone who will deliver, day in and day out, someone who may be presented with one problem and solve two. When investing in Illinois’ infrastructure—as well as leading other state initiatives, from education to health and human services—taxpayers expect the same.
Illinois residents want roads and public transportation systems that get them to work on a predictable schedule—not a 25-minute commute on a good day and a 75-minute commute on a bad day. We need to trust that our water treatment plans will deliver clean water to our taps, every single day, and that the state park where we take our families each summer will remain open. We bristle when we see our street torn up in January for utility work and in November for repaving. We’re quite willing to try new things—like open road tolling and congestion pricing—as long as there are real benefits, like saved time.
When I was asked to co-chair Ill. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Infrastructure Transition Committee with Kirk Dillard of the Regional Transportation Authority, Del Wilkins of Illinois Marine Towing and Canal Barge Company and Christal Wilson of the University of Chicago, I had these concerns on my mind. Throughout our committee’s dialogue on how to address the state’s infrastructure challenges, the themes of reliability, predictability, trustworthiness, efficiency and innovation resonated.
Our Committee focused not on prioritizing specific projects that Illinois needs—there simply wasn’t enough time—but on fundamental strategies for consistent and robust investment in our infrastructure. This is the framework that Gov. Rauner’s team will deploy to make tough decisions on infrastructure priorities. It signals to taxpayers and investors that Illinois is committed to investing in next generation infrastructure that residents and businesses can rely on. Our committee identified three critical components to maintain, modernize and expand Illinois’ infrastructure:
- Implement a transparent, coordinated planning process.
- Develop sustainable funding sources.
- Deliver programs efficiently.
Our policy committee represented a broad range of business, civic and community leaders—aided by issue experts and supported by the Civic Consulting Alliance and Boston Consulting Group. We discussed, debated and ultimately submitted ideas that shaped the Transition Committee’s report, released Jan. 9.
At its best, the report is a living document that will guide Gov. Rauner and his team as they pursue dozens of long-term and 100-day goals. Among the themes that resonate strongly with MPC’s agenda:
- moving toward a more efficient state government where agencies pool resources and work with one another, rather than in silos or at crosshairs;
- infusing decision-making with data and requiring transparency;
- making better use of technology to harness the best and latest information and to save resources; and
- planning, not only to create a more predictable climate for businesses but also to establish evidence-based goals and align investments across multiple state agencies to meet these goals.
Illinois voters hired Gov. Rauner for a formidable job—make Illinois great again. This transition report offers him and his new administration an energizing “to do” list for an Illinois that is more predictable, trustworthy, efficient and innovative—an Illinois we can all be proud to call home. To accomplish these goals over the next four years, Gov. Rauner and his administration will need active assistance from civic, business and community leaders and elected and appointed officials at every level of government. MPC looks forward to mobilizing our resources to help Gov. Rauner build a better Illinois.