below, release from Kirk campaign...
Kirk Unveils Quincy Agenda
Kirk: "Our priority in Quincy must be job creation and economic growth"
Quincy, Ill. - Congressman Mark Kirk joined Quincy business owner Mike Nobis and community leaders to unveil his Quincy Agenda to highlight the priorities of Quincy-area citizens.
"Our next Senator should support innovative and specific Quincy efforts to increase employment like standing up for Quincy's largest employer, Blessing Hospital, expanding Quincy's port district, and completing major infrastructure projects like the Chicago-KC Expressway," Kirk said. "The best thing we can do for Quincy right now is support pro-growth, job creation policies to turn our economy around and put people back to work. I am committed to supporting Quincy's priorities to rebuild and revitalize the Gem City's economy."
The Quincy Agenda is a 10-point plan to turn our economy around and put Quincy back to work. Congressman Kirk worked with Quincy community leaders to develop the agenda. Below is Congressman Kirk's Quincy Agenda.
The Quincy Agenda
1) Standing Up for Quincy's Top Employer: Blessing Hospital
Blessing Hospital, which recently celebrated its 135th birthday, remains the largest employer and health care provider for Quincy and Adams County.
With more than 2,100 employees, two campuses and several satellite facilities, the hospital treats 13,800 inpatients and 377,000 outpatients every year.
Since half of Blessing's patients are Medicare recipients, Mark Kirk will fight congressional cuts to Medicare and hospitals - and work to improve the Medicare reimbursement system.
2) Expanding Quincy's Mid-America Intermodal Port District
Congressman Kirk supports the establishment of a barge-loading facility along the Mississippi River.
Congressman Kirk supports the Mid-America Port Commission, a three state commission created to establish an intermodal port on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers in the Mid-America region. In Mark Kirk's view, the "Mid-America Regional Port" is critical for the economic development of the entire region.
3) Upgrading Our Lock and Dam System
Many farmers depend on the system of locks and dams along Illinois' rivers to bring products to market. However, this system was built long ago for smaller and older ships. As Senator, Mark Kirk will work to upgrade and expand our river infrastructure to bring our lock-and-dam system into the 21st century.
With ADM and the Mid-America Intermodal Port District, upgrading our locks and dams is critical to the future of Quincy's economy.
4) Backing Hydropower on the Mississippi River
Congressman Kirk is a strong supporter of alternative energy - including hydro power. An Adams County-based hydro power plant on the Mississippi River will bring jobs and lower-cost energy to west central Illinois. Congressman Kirk supports making the tax credit on hydro-power investment permanent.
5) Completing the Illinois Route for the Chicago-KC Expressway
Mark Kirk supports efforts by State Senator Sullivan and State Rep. Tracy to officially designate the Illinois portion of the Chicago-KC Expressway. A strong supporter of highway infrastructure investment, Mark Kirk will support state and local efforts to complete the Macomb bypass, connecting Ill. 336 west of Macomb with U.S.67 north of Macomb and completing what could be considered an Illinois route for the Chicago-Kansas City Expressway.
6) Completing the Quincy-Peoria Corridor
Mark Kirk supports local initiatives to extend Ill. 336 as a four-lane corridor from Macomb east to Peoria. This plan would complete the four-lane Ill. 336 corridor from Quincy to Peoria and connect the transportation hubs at those three communities. As a Senator, Mark Kirk will work with local and state leaders to unlock the economic potential of Western Illinois.
7) Completing the North-South Corridor through Western Illinois
Mark Kirk supports local initiatives to complete the U.S. 67 corridor from Rock Island to Alton. This corridor would provide a vital north-south route through Western Illinois, connecting all parts of the region with transportation gateways to Iowa, Missouri and Central Illinois. As a Senator, Mark Kirk will work with local and state leaders to unlock the economic potential of Western Illinois.
8) Standing Up for Quincy Small Business
Promoting job creation in Quincy is a top priority. Small businesses account for 98.4 percent of statewide employers and are the engine of our economy.
Congressman Kirk is the only candidate in this race to propose a Small Business Bill of Rights to protect small businesses from higher taxes, rising health care and energy costs and increasing government red tape. The plan, endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business, would provide small business employers with capital gains, AMT and death tax relief, cut government red tape, lower health care costs and protect a worker's right to a secret ballot in a union election.
The Small Business Bill of Rights will:
· Protect secret ballots in union elections
· Lower health costs with lawsuit reforms and interstate competition
· Lower energy costs with credits for efficient equipment and hybrids
· Permit children to continue business with low/no death tax
· Exempt small businesses from capital gains tax for 10 years
· Make immigration laws easy to comply with
· Create a Patent Office fast lane for small business innovation
· SBA to limit federal paperwork for small businesses to 200 hours annually
· Prevent AMT from taxing the middle class
· Reduce deficit to encourage jobs and improve credit
9) Supporting Illinois Agriculture in West-Central Illinois
With major exports of corn, soybean and wheat along with a supporting industry of manufacturing, research and trade, agriculture is the backbone of the Illinois economy - and a major employer in west-central Illinois.
Congressman Kirk strongly supports expanding American energy to create jobs and lower costs. He is a strong supporter of ethanol and biodiesel to expand economic opportunities for Illinois farmers - especially our corn and soybean producers.
Mark Kirk is a leader in Congress in helping small and medium-sized businesses - especially farmers and support industries - export their products to foreign markets like China. As a Senator, Mark will fight to expand the Foreign Commercial Service, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Development Agency - key agencies that help west-central Illinois farmers and businesses establish and expand exports to growing markets.
10) Cracking Down on Quincy Gangs
Building on his record in the House, Congressman Kirk will work to strengthen local-federal partnerships to provide our law enforcement the tools they need to root out dangerous drug gangs.
Mark Kirk will support the Quincy Police Street Crimes Unit and fight for the federal resources needed to take on gangs like the Black P-Stones that use the northwest and southwest ends of Quincy as locations to traffic and sell their drugs.