Mid-America Airport To Transport Produce To China

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MASCOUTAH, IL (KPLR)-- Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) was in Mascoutah on Thursday celebrating the opening of a 37,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse for produce.

North Bay Produce chose Mid America Airport as a location to help distribute produce from North and South America to Asia.

Flights will be taking off regularly with packages of blueberries for China.

The warehouse will support 80 jobs. North Bay invested $500,000 in the project and will eventually lease the space from St. Clair County for $18,000 a month.

The announcement came on the very day Governor Quinn signed legislation that reduces the state budget by $2.7 billion.  A bi-partisan plan targeted Medicaid and will mean and estimated 25,000 working parents will lose taxpayer funded health insurance.

The Governor said the cuts were necessary in order to keep Medicaid afloat.  He compared his roll as governor to a repair man.

"I inherited a big mess in Illinois when I became governor," said Quinn.  "We had to reform the ethics, we had to reduce and reform the budget and we`ve got to get our economy back on track."

Another piece of legislation raises the tax on cigarettes by $1 a pack.  Some stores near the Missouri border complained that the higher cost of cigarettes in Illinois will hurt their business.

Quinn said the tax was unavoidable and will save money in the long run.

"Over a billion and half dollars of our Medicaid system every year goes to tobacco related diseases," said Quinn.

The governor said his next priority will be pension reform.