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Illinois legislators talk agriculture and infrastructure

Illinois legislators talk agriculture and infrastructure.

Right now Illinois has a significant backlog of overdue maintenance across its infrastructure network.

If farmers can't get to market, it affects their livelihood but also makes the state less competitive.

It's no secret Illinois is one of the largest transportation hubs in the country, but crumbling lock and dams, roads and bridges threaten the state's competitive edge.

"We are a producer and exporter to the world and it's very important that we have those lines to be able to get our product to market throughout the world. We are again, as the governor said several times, a key location in the United States and in the world. We produce, we have the product, we can feed the world. We need to make sure we have the ample structure in place to make sure it gets out throughout the world," said State Representative Randy Frese.

The 2014 Illinois Infrastructure Report Card gave the state a dismal grade of C minus.

Without prioritizing infrastructure needs, these conditions can become a drag on the economy.

But Governor Bruce Rauner says he has a plan.

"I'm going to be pushing to get a balanced budget and do a major infrastructure investment program so we can be investing in the rail system, the roads and the locks and dams here in western Illinois, but all across the state," said Governor Rauner.

While there has been modest progress, there's still work to be done.

Legislators say the future of infrastructure should continue the momentum they've seen over the past four years.

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