August 12, 2011

To the Honorable Members of the

Illinois House of Representatives,

97th General Assembly:


In accordance with Article IV, Section 9(b) of the Illinois Constitution, I hereby veto House Bill 1966 from the 97th General Assembly.


As Governor, I am committed to ensuring that the State of Illinois is the leader for high speed rail in the United States. I have worked tirelessly with the Illinois General Assembly and our State’s congressional delegation to bring federal funding to Illinois for the construction and development of High Speed Rail. In the past year, Illinois has received packages of $1.2 billion, $186 million, and $268 million for High Speed Rail projects from the Federal Government.


This bill creates the Illinois High-Speed Rail Commission for the purposes of researching and submitting a plan to the Illinois General Assembly for the development and construction a High-Speed Rail system.


While I support the development of high speed rail, the creation of the Illinois High-Speed Rail Commission duplicates the appointment of the 220 advisory committee made on June 2, 2011.  This distinguished group of high speed rail experts and advocates will work with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the University of Illinois to study 220 mile per hour rail in Illinois.  This group includes the sponsor of House Bill 1966, Senator Martin Sandoval, who has been a leading advocate of High Speed Rail in the Illinois General Assembly.  My administration looks forward to working with Representative Burke, Senator Sandoval, our advisory committee, and the University of Illinois to work together on the issues House Bill 1966 addresses.


Therefore, pursuant to Article IV, Section 9(b) of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 1966, entitled “AN ACT concerning transportation.”, vetoed in its entirety with this statement of objections.