HARRISBURG, Ill. – This week state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, announced that he is calling on Southern Illinois residents to lend their names to an effort calling on Governor Rauner to restore cuts to Amtrak rail services that are vital to the regional economy.
“Part of having a strong economy is having a stable transportation infrastructure in place,” said Phelps. “By cutting services to Southern Illinois, this governor has been strangling our local economies by making it harder for people to travel and making the region less appealing to businesses.”
Advocates who want to protect the Amtrak service argue it is a vital resource for students and working families in the Carbondale region. By having a reliable transportation system near the school, students are more likely to attend, which helps the local economy by attracting more families to the region. Eliminating these services will cut off a valuable economic engine and leave many businesses reeling, forcing them to lay off workers near the holiday season. One way Phelps is asking residents to join his efforts is to sign a petition calling on Governor Rauner to focus on eliminating government fraud and abuse in Springfield and Chicago and stop eliminating services in Southern Illinois. Residents interested in signing this petition can call the district office at 618-253-4189 to request a copy of the petition, or send an email to [email protected]
“Cutting Amtrak services to Carbondale and closing facilities is not about balancing the budget,” said Phelps. “These actions are about politics pure and simple and I’m asking Southern Illinois families in joining me in saying that enough is enough.”
Brandon Phelps represents the 118th District in the Illinois General Assembly, which includes all or portions of Alexander, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, and Union counties.