Davis, Bost Block Pritzker’s Attempt to Increase Water Costs for Central, Southern Illinois Communities

Washington, D.C.

Pritzker was attempting to seek federal law change that would terminate water contracts between the State of Illinois and Army Corps of Engineers, forcing water users in communities near Corps-managed lakes to pay more for water usage

U.S. Representatives Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) and Mike Bost (R-IL-12) succeeded in stripping language requested by Governor J.B. Pritzker from the U.S. House version of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) that would have forced water users in communities near Army Corps of Engineers-managed lakes in Illinois to pay more for water usage.

“Governor Pritzker and his left-wing allies are already forcing electric rates higher with their energy policies,” said Davis. “On top of rising energy costs and historic inflation, the last thing communities in central and southern Illinois need to pay more for is water, which is what Pritzker is pushing. If the State’s financial condition is as rosy as Pritzker says it is, why is he trying to pass water costs along to local communities in these challenging economic times? Fortunately, Rep. Bost and I were successful in blocking Pritzker in the House, but Senators are pushing this policy in the Senate. As debate over WRDA continues, Rep. Bost and I will continue to advocate for these provisions to stay out of the final bill.”

“Once again, liberal Democrats in Chicago and Springfield have completely disregarded the needs of Southern Illinois,” said Bost. “Resources are already stretched thin at the local level, and terminating these contracts would have forced our communities to choose between affordable water and other necessary services. I’m pleased that Rep. Davis and I were successful in fixing this problem before the bill made it to the House floor; but it’s no less maddening that political outsiders were willing to increase costs for our people.”

The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) is biennial, federal legislation that invests in water infrastructure across the country, including projects managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Governor J.B. Pritzker was attempting to seek a change in federal law that would allow him to terminate water contracts between the State of Illinois and the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps manages three water supply reservoirs in central and southern Illinois – Rend Lake, Carlyle Lake, and Lake Shelbyville – which provide water to communities near the lakes for commercial use. Presently, the State of Illinois is required to contract directly with the Corps and pay costs related to providing that water to local users. Gov. Pritzker is seeking end this arrangement and require local communities to pay those water costs themselves, which would increase water costs for those communities.

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