Durbin Meets With Champaign Chamber to Discuss Regional Transportation Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with leaders from Champaign County Chamber of Commerce who were in Washington, D.C. for their annual fly-in to discuss local transportation priorities, including job-creating road construction projects. Durbin also discussed bipartisan legislation he has introduced called the Marketplace Fairness Act which would allow local brick-and-mortar retailers in Champaign and across Illinois to compete more effectively against out-of-state internet sellers.

Attendees at today’s meeting included: John Dimit, President and CEO of Champaign County Economic Development Council; Laura Weis, Past President and CEO of Champaign County Chamber; Dick Helton, Village Administrator of the Village of Savoy; Mark Ballard, Bank Manager at BankChampaign; Tom Carino, Economic Development Manager for the City of Urbana; Seamus Reilly, Vice President of Economic Development at Parkland Community College; and Paul Orama, Public Policy Manager at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.

“The Champaign Chamber of Commerce brings together business and community leaders from across Champaign County, and serves as an important voice for the interests of its members and the entire region,” said Durbin. “I was happy to meet with members of the group today and look forward to working with them in the future.”

The Senate is currently debating a bipartisan transportation funding bill – which maintains current spending levels for highways and mass transit and includes authorization for a competitive grant program to help fund nationally and regionally significant projects – which a major procedural hurdle last month by a vote of 85-11. In February, following negative responses from state transportation departments across the country including Illinois, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that the pending House transportation bill would have to be rewritten.

A photo from today’s meeting is available here.