Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon has some advice for three Illinois freshmen in Congress: join the Defense Communities Caucus. Simon says the state’s congressional delegation must be prepared for, possibly, another round of base closures. Simon advocates for defense communities as chairwoman of an interagency commission which promotes the needs of Illinois cities which host military bases.
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The Great Lakes Naval Station, Rock Island Arsenal, and Scott Air Force Base are all in districts now represented by freshmen: U.S. Reps. Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield), Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline), and William L. Enyart (D-Belleville), respectively. While the base closing process is supposed to be objective, Simon says making the case for Illinois is important:“We are able to provide some very good services to those bases, and we want to make sure we are in a position to demonstrate that to the federal government to let them know that we think it’s a very good decision to continue to have those bases in Illinois.”