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House committee backs resolution urging NGA campus be located in St. Clair County

From Illinois Business Journal news services

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House Economic Development committee approved bipartisan legislation today urging the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency campus to build the agency’s new facility in Illinois.

House Resolution 10 introduced by Illinois state Reps Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, and Charlie Meier, R-Okawville, received bipartisan support from state Reps. Jay Hoffman, D-Belleville, and Eddie Lee Jackson Sr., D-East St. Louis, who have both chief co-sponsored the resolution.

“The resolution approved today will send a strong signal to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency that Illinois welcomes the new facility and the jobs it will bring to Illinois,” Kay said Thursday. “I am thrilled to have bipartisan support for this resolution – when we work together we can accomplish great things.”

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency plans to build a new campus in the St. Louis region by 2021 and is estimated to generate 3,000 jobs. The federal agency is currently considering four potential locations; Fenton, Mo.; Mehlville, Mo.; North St. Louis City; and on land owned by MidAmerica Airport in St. Clair County, adajcent to Scott Air Force Base.

“It is obvious to me St. Clair County should be the new home for the intelligence campus,” Meier said. “We are the only location adjacent to a secure facility, Scott Air Force Base and we are the only location to offer free land thanks to St. Clair County government. The resolution approved today will serve as another way to promote and encourage the NGA to make Illinois their new home.”

According to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, anyone who sails a U.S. ship, flies a U.S. aircraft, makes national policy decisions, fights wars, locates targets, responds to natural disasters, or even navigates with a cellphone relies on NGA.

Pending the NGA’s decision, the new intelligence agency campus is estimated to begin the construction process in April 2016. House Resolution 10 now heads to the House floor for final action.

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