Treasurer vows fight for recycling legislation

By Rich Bruen

Illinois Treasurer Patrick Quinn vowed to push for an override of Gov. Jim Edgar’s veto of a recycling legislation at a conference Wednesday at DeKalb City Hall.

The legislation Edgar vetoed would have created the Illinois Recyclable Markets Development Advisory Council, which would have given low-interest, government-guaranteed loans to individuals who want to start recycling businesses.

“We need to make capital available to small entrepreneurs to stimulate the recyclable product market,” Quinn said.

Under the program, the council would encourage banks to make loans to potential recycling businesses by providing a guarantee that the state would repay 85 percent of the loan if the business was to default, he said.

“We need to introduce local banks to the recycling business,” he said.

According to Quinn, the cost of the program would come from a combination of tipping fees, which are fees paid by users of landfills, and by the state budget.

Although Quinn did not specifically say how much the program would cost the state, he said $5 million would leverage about $95 to $100 million in loans.

“It’s a really small cost considering the economic and environmental benefits,” he said.

Mayor Greg Sparrow, John Nelson, candidate for 35th District Senator and Kay Phillips, candidate for 70th District State Representative, were at the conference to support Quinn.

“He’s (Edgar) playing politics with an important bill and the jobs it creates,” Nelson said.

Quinn said the override attempt will occur in November.