SPRINGFIELD – When an underground cable at the Illinois State Fairgrounds failed in early 2008, state officials quickly learned that the entire system supplying power to the sprawling campus on Springfield’s north end was in dire need of replacement.
The repair work cost taxpayers nearly $3 million and the work shutdown the Fairgrounds for months, forcing annual events like boat shows to either cancel or scramble to find new locations. Local media reports pegged the economic loss to the city and businesses in the millions of dollars.
All along, it had been no secret that the power system was on its last legs. But the cash-strapped state simply never budgeted or never had the resources to make the repairs and upgrades until there was an emergency.
Over the weekend, State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) visited Western Illinois University's annual Farm Expo and spoke to the crowd for what is the largest student-run agriculture show in the United States. (click to enlarge photos)
Members of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee recently held a subject-matter hearing regarding the labeling of genetically modified organisms in food.
The committee met in Normal, Illinois and heard from a panel of both proponents and opponents regarding legislation to label genetically modified organisms in food. In the coming months, the committee will be traveling to both Carbondale and Chicago to further study this issue.
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