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The Q

Workers set glass in place Monday in the public area in The Q train station that is attached to the Element Hotel in downtown Moline.

Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES

Thumbs up to Iowa State University's Animal lab, a boon to the state's farm industry that faces budgetary uncertainty.

A primary site of hugely important testing, especially during disease outbreaks among livestock, the Animal Lab now faces questions about continued state funding. It came within a whiff of losing $4 million earlier this year when Gov. Kim Reynolds was axing programs to balance the budget.

ISU officials say the Animal Lab might lose accreditation unless the state helps fund a massive new lab. The proposal would cost $100 million over five years. That number is a non-starter right now. But hopefully, lawmakers land on a reasonable number to kick start the project.

Thumbs down to Illinois for sitting on its hands for almost a decade, endangering federal funding for the return of passenger rail to the Quad-Cities. 

The region's federal lawmakers were put on alert this week when $53 million was missing in President Donald Trump's draft budget for a project associated with the proposed Amtrak expansion linking Moline and Chicago.

Moline city officials and private developers have poured millions into a new train station and hotel. The region's business advocates have lauded the proposal.

Since 2010, the $230 million in federal money has sat untouched because Illinois won't release its share, a relative pittance.

It turned out, most of the missing $53 million had been tagged for a rail line linking Moline and Iowa City. Iowa has consistently shown no interest in the project.

But, still, this week's revelations only further the belief that time is running out for Illinois if it expects to make good on its commitment. 

Thumbs up to Davenport National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which this year celebrates its 100 anniversary of its founding.

The organization continues to do important, necessary work. And its mission is even more important with the current state of national politics. 


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