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12-19-18 New Advocacy Banner

Advocacy

IRTBA will be the successful leader, educator, and advocate for stimulating positive change at all levels for the transportation design and construction industry in Illinois. Our 2019 advocacy goal successes include:

  • Aided in the lobbying efforts that led to passage of the first state gas tax increase in nearly 30 years, which was strategically indexed to avoid future debate, and also created a funding mechanism to support passage of a $45 billion overall State Capital Bill, $33 billion of which was earmarked for transportation.
  • The State Journal-Register published IRTBA President & CEO Mike Sturino's OpEd on the Transportation Funding Protection Act, which further educates members of the motoring public about the importance of the Transportation Funding Protection Act, which will ensure future funds collected from transportation fees and revenues will no longer be diverted to non-transportation related projects.
  • Pushed for a Call to Action by members to reach out to their U.S. Senators during recess to set up official meetings, jobsite tours, or attend town halls to advocate the importance of acting now to prevent the cycle of delay and uncertainty that has plagued previous federal reauthorization bills and support America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) with highway user fee revenue.
  • Illinois Road Builders’ Political Action Committee (PAC) hosted a fundraiser to support candidates during the 2020 campaign cycle who assisted our efforts to advance and promote the transportation design and construction industry and will be used to contribute to those legislators on both sides of the aisle who have a proven track record as transportation advocates.
  • IRTBA was instrumental in connecting the incoming Gubernatorial Administration with Tollway staff on the issue of the importance of allowing the advertising of bids to move forward as scheduled to ensure a steady stream of work flowing for IRTBA members.
  • Tracked 302 pieces of legislation (170 House bills, 110 Senate bills, and 22 other resolutions and executive appointments) during the spring and fall legislative sessions. IRTBA Headquarters staff and leadership lobbied Springfield five times and Washington four times.
  • Met with Senate President Jon Cullerton and Senator Laura Fine to discuss HB 2838, a bill holding General Contractors (GCs) liable for the payment of wages and benefits to employees of a subcontractor (even when the GC has paid the subcontractor in full). John Bryan (Geneva Construction) represented IRTBA at this meeting. HB 2838 is currently stalled and IRTBA will be following this bill in the spring session.
  • Sent letters to all new members of the State House and State Senate offering IRTBA’s expertise in their official duties. Also sent thank you letters to all State House and Senate members who voted “yes” for the indexed gas tax and Rebuild Illinois Capital Bill, issuing industry’s gratitude for their tough vote and for their support of transportation infrastructure programs.
  • IRTBA President Mike Sturino in January met with all newly-elected members of U.S. Congress (or their proxies).
  • Met with new Federal Highway Administration Administrator Nicole Nason on multiple occasions. Some issues discussed included the possibility of a $2 trillion federal infrastructure deal.
  • IRTBA leaders held a Chicago Mayoral Candidate Forum to discuss candidate’s top priorities, if elected, including discussions about transportation industry issues.
  • IRTBA lobbied in favor of amendments to the Contract Prompt Payment Act (Senate Bill 1636), which applies to private construction projects and allows retainage to be withheld at a rate of 10 percent for the first half of the construction project, but is to be reduced to five percent once the project is 50 percent complete.
  • Strongly advocated for heightened penalties for violators of Scott’s Law due to construction work site near-misses and fatalities, in addition to an increase in State Trooper fatalities. Governor J.B. Pritzker this year signed a package of legislation to strengthen penalties for life-threatening violations on roadways in an effort to protect law enforcement officers, first responders, and road workers. A great success for improved safety in work zones!
  • IRTBA Chairman Mark Barkowski, Chair-Elect John Kapovich, and President Mike Sturino met with Congressman Jesús "Chuy" García and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to discuss the state’s new Rebuild Illinois capital program, the importance of regulatory relief and streamlining, and the need for federal funds for programs like CREATE.  
  • IRTBA Chairman Mark Barkowski and IRTBA leaders attended the inauguration of Governor J.B. Pritzker and other constitutional officers in Springfield.
  • IRTBA President & CEO Mike Sturino and Board member David Lorig (Lorig Construction) were appointed to Governor J.B. Pritzker's Restoring Illinois’ Infrastructure Transition Committee. IRTBA President Mike Sturino was also nominated to serve on newly-elected Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Transportation and Infrastructure Transition Committee.
  • IRTBA Chairman Mark Barkwoski issued the association's unequivocal support of the Lincoln Yards proposal, which will transform a former industrial site into a new riverfront community and create over 10,000 construction jobs and new opportunities for Chicago's trade industry. The project proposal includes over one-mile of new river walk, an extension of the 606 bike trail, two new vehicular bridges, new roadways, improvements to existing roadways, and major transit improvements.
  • Lobbied Springfield against HB 2127 and SB 1326, which would have required professional services firms that do business in excess of $100,000 with the state to use computer monitoring software to track billable hours. Thanks to industry pushing back on this bad-for business bill, these bills were never heard in committee.

A complete outline of the IRTBA's 2019 Year in Review is available here.

Contact: Liz Carrero | Director of Communications| E: liz@irtba.org | P: (630) 626-3576

500 Park Boulevard, Suite 1250
Itasca, Illinois 60143
Phone: (630) 773-1220
Fax: (630) 773-1231
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