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Trains Expert: Amtrak project dependent on Illinois capital bill

An expert on trains says passenger rail funding will need to be re appropriated in this year’s capital bill.
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DECATUR, Illinois-- An expert on trains says passenger rail funding will need to be re appropriated in this year's capital bill.

A state senate subcommittee met in the city Monday, March 18 to talk about what could be put in the bill. Friday, February 15, State House Rep Tony McCombie released this statement to News 8.

"Rep Halpin, along with Senator Anderson, and myself believe in the project, however the State has already allocated these funds in previous fiscal year budgets. Since the funds have already been promised, they should be outside of any capital plan drafted this session."

Rick Harnish of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, says there will be even more of a holdup on the Amtrak project, if the funding isn't re appropriated though, in a capital bill.

"This is the opportunity to persuade [Governor J.B.] Pritzker's administration and your local lawmakers that you want trains," he said Thursday, February 14 during our Breakfast With interviews. 

The subcommittee is meeting at Bradley University in Peoria Monday, April 8. That's the closest they're meeting to the Quad Cities. The group's also meeting in Chicago, Tuesday, April 16 and Elgin, later in April.