“Will County is engaging our state and federal legislators on issues that are important to our residents and communities,” said Judicial & Legislative Committee Vice Chair Natalie Coleman. “As one of the fastest growing counties in the country we have faced many challenges and our advocacy has helped advance county priorities.”
State and federal lobbyists assist Will County in creating formal legislative agenda books, highlighting key needs and suggesting legislative changes and other critical projects which require the attention of state or federal representatives. Each year, County leadership goes to Springfield, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. to present the agenda books and advocate for the needs of Will County.
As part of this week’s Committee meeting, members learned more about the Inflation Reduction Act and the impact it may have on local communities.
Board Speaker Mimi Cowan said, “I look forward to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act which seeks to reduce the federal deficit to help fight inflation, invest in domestic energy production and manufacturing, and reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030. The bill will finally allow Medicare to negotiate for prescription drug prices and extend the expanded Affordable Care Act program for three years, through 2025.”
The County is also monitoring the roll-out of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a federal program that will help modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, airports, broadband and drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
“Will County has many infrastructure needs. Our priority is focusing on what opportunities exist for us to bring additional federal dollars back to our county,” said County Board Member Judy Ogalla.
Three important Will County infrastructure projects are included in a version of the upcoming federal funding legislation including the Rt. 53 bike path project, improvements to Laraway Road and Fairmont sewer and water improvements. Although this funding bill is still working its way through Congress, Will County remains hopeful that these projects will be approved.
The County Board and County Executive, along with county agencies, continue to create the 2023 legislative agendas and hope to approve a final version before December of 2022. The next Legislative & Judicial Committee Meeting is scheduled for Sept. 13, 2022.