Below, release from Kirk campaign...
Kirk Unveils Springfield Agenda
Kirk: "We need a Senator who will fight corruption, work to spur economic growth and fight for Springfield families."
Senator McConnell in Springfield today to campaign for Kirk
Springfield, Ill. - Congressman Mark Kirk joined Springfield business owner Zachary Hoffman, community leaders and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to unveil his Springfield Agenda to highlight the priorities of Springfield-area citizens.
"Our next Senator should support specific Springfield efforts to end the corruption tax in Illinois, support local innovators like the Mid-Illinois Medical District, crack down on gangs and meth labs and back high-speed rail," Congressman Kirk said. "I am committed to supporting Springfield's priorities to revitalize our state's capital."
The Springfield Agenda is a seven-point plan to fight corruption, turn our economy around and put Springfield families first. Congressman Kirk worked with Springfield community leaders to develop the agenda. The congressman's Springfield Agenda appears below.
The Springfield Agenda
1) Ending the Corruption Tax in Illinois
Since 1972, Illinois witnessed the criminal indictments of four governors along with the convictions of two congressmen, 19 judges, 30 aldermen and a total of 1,000 Illinois public officials and bribe makers. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Political Science Department estimates the corruption tax costs Illinois families $500 million annually. Mark Kirk has proposed the Public Integrity Anti-Corruption Act, which would provide additional resources to law enforcement to target officials who violate the people's trust. As a Senator, Mark Kirk will fight to ban "pay-to-play" in Washington and back proposals to ban pay-to-play in Springfield.
2) Standing Up for Springfield Small Business
Promoting job creation in Springfield 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
3) Supporting the Mid-Illinois Medical District
According to a 2009 economic impact study conducted by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, health care, behind state government, is the Springfield area's second largest employer, generating $2.5 billion per year in direct and indirect economic activity. And, despite the sluggish economy, the Mid-Illinois Medical District continues to grow. As a Senator, Mark Kirk will back Springfield's leading innovators and job creators like the Mid-Illinois Medical District.
4) Cracking Down on Springfield Gangs
According to the 2009 National Gang Threat Assessment, Illinois has more gang members per capita than any other state in the country. Building on his record in the House, Mark Kirk will work to strengthen local-federal partnerships to provide our law enforcement the tools they need to root out dangerous drug gangs. In Springfield, gangs fueled by cannabis and cocaine sales pose a continued threat to the community. As a Senator, Mark Kirk will work to strengthen coordination and support from federal agencies for local law enforcement needs.
5) Fighting Meth in Central Illinois
While all of Illinois bears the burden of this destructive drug, the prevalence of Meth use is in rural areas of the state not commonly associated with illicit drug use. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, methamphetamine is the primary drug threat to central and southern Illinois and is increasing in prevalence in the Chicago area. In March, the Sangamon County Sheriff's Office discovered what Sheriff Neil Williamson described as the largest meth lab he's seen in his career.
As a congressman, Mark Kirk has long supported the Metropolitan Enforcement Group, a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force concentrating in illegal drugs, gangs and weapons offenses. As a Senator, he will continue support the needs of local, state and federal law enforcement to crack down on meth labs, sales and addiction.
6) Bringing High-Speed Rail Access to Springfield
A strong supporter of infrastructure development as a key to unlocking long-term economic growth, Mark Kirk supports Springfield's push for high-speed rail access. High-speed rail holds great potential for local and regional growth. As a congressman, Mark Kirk voted to support high-speed rail. As a Senator, he will continue his support and back Springfield's pursuit of high-speed rail access.
7) Supporting the 183rd Air Wing
The 183rd Air Wing remains central to Springfield's economy and history. Currently operating on two temporary non-flying missions, Mark Kirk supports the community's push for C-21 flying mission, which can be handled by the current 183rd staff. He also supports allowing firefighters based at the 183rd to continue serving the central Illinois region as first responders for homeland security and natural disasters. As a s Senator, Mark Kirk will work with members of congressional delegation and local leaders to back the 183rd Air Wing.