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June 2, 2002

Governor Ryan Dismisses Bensenville Lawsuit as Frivolous

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan dismissed as “frivolous” the lawsuit that State Senate President James “Pate” Philip, U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde and the city of Bensenville will file against the Governor and Mayor Daley to stop their agreement to create more than 200,000 jobs with a regional airport plan.

“This is a frivolous lawsuit that we expect will fail in court,” Gov. Ryan said. “It is unfortunate that we will have to waste taxpayer dollars defending this nuisance suit.

“The regional airport plan agreed to with Mayor Daley will modernize O’Hare Airport, build a new airport in the South Suburban region and keep Meigs Field Open. In the process, it will create 200,000 jobs and $20 billion in economic development for the Chicagoland area,” Gov. Ryan said.

Currently, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Bill Lipinski (D-Chicago) are backing Congressional legislation that would codify the regional aviation agreement between the Mayor and the Governor and require a thorough federal approval process. Such federal legislation would preempt any state certification process that would interfere with the agreed upon plan. Though the Bensenville lawsuit had been announced today, the Governor’s counsel had not yet seen the suit.

“Mayor Daley and I agreed to this plan for the long term economic benefit for Chicago, Illinois and the entire Midwest region,” said Governor Ryan. “This is about jobs. We hope Congress will put our agreement into law to provide the project with the commitment it needs to be completed over the next 15 – 20 years.”


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