Sen. Fowler Says His District Did Well in Legislative Session

Jun 3, 2019

A southern Illinois lawmaker says his district did very well in the state budget approved over the weekend.

Senator Dale Fowler of Harrisburg says the budget includes lump sum money for ports across the state, including his proposal for a facility at Cairo.

"I believe it's going to be in July, we're going to start our meetings on how we're going to move forward with continued design and engineering of the process and get shovels down in Cairo."
As far as the capital bill goes, Fowler says his district will receive as much, if not more, than any other in the state.
"My district alone, the 59th district, is scheduled to receive over $270 million in capital spending funding for roads and bridges that so desperately need repair and well over 100 projects that are designed for my district."
In addition to roads and bridges, SIU-C is getting money for a new Communications Building, along with millions of dollars for infrastructure updates and other projects.

The gaming expansion plan approved by lawmakers includes funding for the Resort at Walker's Bluff.

Fowler has been a strong advocate for the southern Illinois proposal. The Harrisburg republican says the Walker's Bluff project is much more than just gaming.
"They're going to create an indoor/outdoor water park; two hotels, restaurants; a convention center of course, entertainment complex and the list goes on. So, I'm really excited for the job creation."
Fowler says over 12-hundred construction jobs and over 700 permanent jobs could be created by this project alone.

Officials with the Walker's Bluff project want to wait until the governor officially signs the measure before commenting, but - in a written statement - they did thank those who helped them along the way.

Governor JB Pritzker called the job creation from the gaming expansion proposal a win-win for the state.

Fowler says he could not support the recreational marijuana measure and the bill to keep abortions legal no matter what happens at the federal level.
"This is a tough business and there are a lot of things that you don't agree upon and you have to vote your district and your morals. This is something that I just wasn't able to support."
Fowler says one of his next big projects is to increase workforce development in the region and provide more opportunities for jobs in the trade industries to prevent out-migration.