Senate Gives Green Light for New Courthouse

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said a Senate committee has officially authorized the construction of a new federal courthouse in Rockford. Even though the courthouse plan has been under consideration for some time, today's action will allow Congress to continue funding the project. The authorization was made at Durbin’s request and approved by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works this afternoon.

“Today we were given the green light from the Senate Public Works committee to continue planning and other work on the new federal courthouse in Rockford,” said Durbin. “Congressman Manzullo and I have teamed up on every step of this project so far, and he and I will be working to keep the full $46.227 million in the appropriations bill as it goes to conference. The new federal courthouse in Rockford will be a source of pride for the entire community - one that will be secure, efficient and meet the needs of the judicial system.”

Projects such as the Rockford courthouse must be first officially recognized in law (or authorized) and funded by the Appropriations Committees in both the Senate and the House. To date, the Senate has both authorized and appropriated the $46.277 needed to complete the project. The House now needs to authorize the project so that both chambers of Congress can work together to secure the funds in the final version of the Transportation Appropriations Bill.

Durbin secured $34.5 million in the Senate spending bill last year and $6.9 million in earlier spending bills. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which oversees federal construction projects, estimated last year that only $34 million more would be needed to complete funding for the project. In July, GSA reported that due to a rising building material costs, especially the cost of steel, and that the project would cost an additional $12 million dollars in order to complete the job. These funds were approved by the Senate Transportation Subcommittee in July. The total cost of the project is now $87.66 million.