Jesiel Files Legislation to Boost Lakefront Economic Development

State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) recently filed House Bill 4288 in an effort to provide economic growth and job creation along Lake Michigan. Following a series of economic roundtables this spring with local leaders from lakefront communities and state agencies, Jesiel worked on crafting the legislation. The bill aims to provide relief from an overly burdensome regulatory system that has interfered with repairs and redevelopment at the North Point Marina and Illinois Beach State Park.

“We are very lucky to have some wonderful natural resources in northeastern Lake County, but they’ve been under-utilized for a variety of reasons,” said Jesiel. “State statute is one of those reasons and this legislation takes a direct approach to getting burdensome government regulation out of the way so we can create jobs and grow our local economy by utilizing what we already have.”

Jesiel’s legislation addresses a key issue preventing repair and redevelopment work for locations like North Point Marina and Illinois Beach State Park that fall under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Under the Illinois Procurement Code, only certain contractors can bid for jobs at locations under IDNR jurisdiction. This provision disqualifies many well suited local contractors from applying for projects and leads to major delays and extra costs to facilities like North Point Marina.

Due to the hurdles imposed by existing Illinois law, North Point Marina and Illinois Beach State Park have seen business and jobs flood across the border to rival locations in Wisconsin where the same restrictions don’t exist. Removing such hurdles in Illinois will not only create jobs for the local area by allowing projects to move forward more quickly, but also lead to an increase in tourism and local utilization that will lead to economic growth.

Jesiel is also working with other state agencies and officials to curb other regulations that are preventing access and economic growth. Plans for future economic roundtables are also being worked out to continue the progress made through the efforts from the spring.

For more details on HB 4288, please visit: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=4288&GAID=13&SessionID=88&LegID=92291.