In the News
Feb 10 2016
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – A new bill presented by U.S. senators from Illinois and Iowa aims to boost business for the Rock Island Arsenal.
It’s called the Army Arsenal Revitalization Act.
The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce said it supports this bill explaining that the more flexibility the arsenal has, the better. It’s all meant to keep the arsenal competitive, which backers said is vital to national security and our local economy.
“Generally, we’re supportive of it. Anything that gives the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center flexibility is a good thing from our perspective,” said V.P. of Public Affairs for the Chamber Jason Gordon.
He said the more flexibility the arsenal has the more work it’ll be able to do.
“It’s really that simple and the more they’re able to do that’s good for the local economy,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said current law requires the arsenal to set and maintain labor rates at least a year in advance. While that’s supposed to ensure it doesn’t lose money, given the low workload the arsenal has received lately those rates are not always competitive making it hard to attract work.
Grassley is one of four senators in Iowa and Illinois presenting this bill together. U.S. Senators Mark kirk, Dick Durbin and Joni Ernst also apart of introducing this legislation.
“You will find in a bicameral, bi-state and bi-partisan way that everybody in the delegation is marching in the same direction,” said Sen. Grassley.
He said this bill allows the arsenal to adjust their labor rates throughout the year based on market conditions and workload changes.
“I appreciate delegation looking for ways to give them some more flexibility to perhaps operate a little bit more like a private sector,” said Gordon. “They’re critical to the nation’s defense and they’re critical to our local economy.”
Sen. Grassley said the bill also has a number of provisions to push the army to provide work to the arsenal.
The Chamber said the arsenal has an annual economic impact of $1.2-$1.7 billion.