Find The Daily Line Guest Commentaries Below

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    Boasting the most diverse economy in America and the nation’s fifth highest GDP, Illinois relies heavily on our innate infrastructure and logistics advantages to keep us on the right track for continued growth.

    One of our greatest strengths is our freight rail network. Illinois has 47 freight railroads that carry almost 500 million tons of goods across our state annually—the equivalent of about 25 million annual truckloads of freight. Any diversion of current rail freight to highways will worsen congestion and road damage while also vastly increasing transportation related emissions and pollution.

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    Plastic is one of the most common materials used to create many of the products we use and depend on in countless ways. From everyday household items to industrial uses, understanding how this material can and should be properly recycled, and the benefits that come with that, can make a significant impact on protecting our environment.

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    It’s not every day in Illinois that car companies, environmental organizations, advanced manufacturers, public health advocates and labor unions line up behind the same public policy. Today, that diverse coalition is backing the Powering Up Illinois Act, legislation that would remove the bottlenecks blocking the transition to clean vehicles in our state.  

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    Good things tend to come in threes and the Chicagoland Apartment Association wants to give credit where credit is due. Mayor Johnson's recent efforts for more vibrant real estate development by streamlining processes and cutting red tape deserves high praise. This an issue that is paramount for housing developers looking to invest in Chicago.

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    Meeting the international target of no more than 2° Celsius of warming above pre-industrial levels is an extraordinary challenge we must meet to address global climate change.

    Illinois needs every tool at its disposal to do its part. For more than 20 years, geologists and engineers at the University of Illinois’s Prairie Research Institute (PRI) have been developing and evaluating methods for the safe capture, storage, and re-use of planet-warming CO2 from power plants and industrial operations.

    This process, called carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), can play a critical role in achieving the state’s decarbonization goals by capturing CO2 that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere. CCUS is widely considered to be essential to meeting emission reduction goals called for in climate models.

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    For two years, the western half of a beloved local park in my Rogers Park neighborhood was taken over by a homeless tent encampment, while the City and local authorities looked the other way. In time, reports surfaced of illicit criminal activity, mostly drug activity and syringes found around the site, and neighborhood residents, including students from the high school across the street, voiced justifiable concerns regarding safety.

    Soon, the Park District was forced to cancel their summer youth programs, and the high school across the street, which had used the park for its outdoor sports activities, could no longer allow its students to safely recreate.

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    State Rep. Kam Buckner's bill to stop cities from mandating specific numbers of off-street car parking at homes and businesses in transit-served areas should be celebrated. These mandates increase the cost of housing, take up land that could be used for just about anything else (like, more housing), and, because of how they facilitate more driving and require building more curb cuts than is truly necessary, make it harder to walk, bike, or ride the bus to run errands.

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    Illinois is rebuilding and modernizing its infrastructure thanks to Governor Pritzker’s bi-partisan ReBuild Illinois infrastructure investment program and President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which also had bi-partisan support. As a result of these investments, Illinois’ aging and crumbling infrastructure is being modernized at a rapid rate to ensure we have clean air and water and safe and modern roads and bridges—all designed by the nation’s most innovative and forward-thinking engineering firms, located right here in Illinois.

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    So far this year Illinoisans have watched two major ‘political influence’ trials come and go when five individuals were charged with a variety of felonies - ranging from bribery, conspiracy, and falsifying corporate records to perjury and obstruction of justice.
    This past April in the first trial, colloquially referred to as the ‘ComEd Four’, former Commonwealth Edison executives and lobbyists were found guilty in federal court of using company resources, including hiring individuals at the request of the then Illinois Speaker of the House, to ‘grease the skids’ in terms of getting ComEd’s legislative agendas passed and circumvent the regulatory authority of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).
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    We were scared and devastated. Doctors had just diagnosed our daughter Melanie with advanced Stage 3 chronic kidney disease in August 2021. Doctors told us that she would need a kidney transplant to survive. I could either sit and cry over the devastating news, or I could prepare to fight for my daughter’s life. And like any mother, I found the strength to support her fight.

    I was a compatible kidney match for Melanie, so in October of last year, doctors at Lurie Children’s Hospital removed one my kidneys and successfully transplanted the organ into Melanie. God prepares us for these heavy, challenging times. It was nearly overwhelming at the beginning, and I felt like the weakest person, but I knew I had to be tough when I fought for my daughter’s wellbeing.