Buying Police Cars Assembled in the United States

Springfield- At the state capitol it's known as house bill 3861. To everyone else, it's coined 'buy American'. If you look further in to the bill, sponsors want to require Illinois to buy police cars assembled only in the U.S.

State Representative Bill Mitchell is against the idea.

"If I voted yes, I would have voted to lay off 12 people and I couldn't do that," Mitchell said.

Pat Dawson the General Manager of Miles Chevrolet in Decatur has a multi-million multi-year contract to supply the state with police vehicles. If the bill is passed it will hurt his business, because some of his cars are assembled in Australia.

"State police under this bill could buy a Toyota assembled in Indiana while the parent company is Japanese, so you could have squad cars made by Toyota on Illinois highways, instead of a Chevrolet," Mitchell added.

Representative Sue Scherer said she believes Dawson can roll with the changes.

"If Pat could come up with some Chevrolets that are made in America and fit the requirements," Scherer added.

She voted in favor of the bill and said, her intent is not to hurt residents in her district. However, the bottom line is to provide people with jobs.

"There's such a high need for jobs right now and if the people can go to work they'll have money to spend back in America," Scherer added.

However, Mitchell does not want it to be at the cost of those who live in Decatur.

"We could be out of 12 jobs in Decatur and I couldn't vote for that," Mitchell said.

The measure was supported by 73 and opposed by 36. Gov. Quinn is also in favor of the bill.
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