Harris111418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Harvey) led a successful effort this week to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill to help economically disadvantaged communities in Cook County shore up their water infrastructure.

“Smaller Cook County suburbs lack the funding to make necessary repairs to their infrastructure and have a small chance of qualifying for state loan programs,” Harris said. “We now have a way for towns like Harvey and Ford Heights to access the capital funds needed to provide residents with safe drinking water.”

In October 2017 the Chicago Tribune found Ford Heights residents pay nearly six times more for the same water usage as residents of the wealthy, predominantly white town of Highland Park, and four times more for water than people living in Chicago. Similar problems exist in Harvey and Maywood.

Eight towns surveyed by the Tribune — Hometown, East Hazel Crest, Posen, Burnham, Riverdale, Flossmoor, Lyons and Maywood — lost more than 30 percent of their water. Of the 10 towns with the highest water rates, 50 percent have majority black populations.
The legislation would set up a drinking water grant program under the Illinois EPA to fix aging water pipes in Harvey, Ford Heights, Maywood and other towns.

The legislation goes into effect immediately.

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 15th District
M122 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8066

District Office:
369 E. 147th St., Unit H
Harvey, IL 60426
(708) 893-0552
(708) 566-4108 FAX