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Rep. Lipinski: Infrastructure Plan Needs Work

Herald-News

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, said the draft of an infrastructure plan from House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., is a good start, but it needs work.

Lipinski said he was pleased Shuster put out a draft bill Monday, and he hopes it would begin the serious discussion needed to address the country’s infrastructure needs.

“This has been a missed opportunity to work on a bipartisan priority that is needed for America’s success,” Lipinski said in a statement.

The Illinois congressman, who represents all or parts of Romeoville, Crest Hill, Lockport, Lemont and Homer Glen as part of the 3rd Congressional District, pointed out President Donald Trump promised “a trillion dollars for much-needed infrastructure” more than a year and a half ago.

Lipinski specifically praised the fact that the deal addresses the Highway Trust Fund’s shortfall by increasing the federal motor fuel tax, expanding the tax base and restructuring contributions in the long run. The gas tax would increase 15 cents a gallon, while diesel would increase 20 cents a gallon, both over three years. He said he was concerned about raising taxes on mass transit systems.

He also noted the plan makes changes to federal programs that fund local water and sewer projects, which could be helpful to the many municipalities in the 3rd District that face significant costs for repair or replacement of crumbling systems.

Lipinski also pointed out the draft contains a number of streamlining provisions similar to the Trump administration’s proposal that could circumvent key environmental protections and weaken public input during its planning and development process.

“Cutting unnecessary bureaucratic red tape is good, but we cannot do it at the expense of our environment and public input,” Lipinski said.