Local, state, and federal lawmakers or their aides attended an annual meeting held by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission yesterday. Larry Whitaker is the Chair of the Tri-County Commission. He says the meeting is an opportunity to update lawmakers on projects, as well as for the commission to get feedback from them: “The other thing that we think that’s important is that the community understand through our legislators the work the commission’s doing. The commission is a much-more high profile organization today than it was five years ago,” Whitaker says. Whitaker says bringing passenger rail to the area and building an Eastern Bypass are both top priorities for the commission. Chances are slim for securing current federal funding to help bring rail service between Peoria and Bloomington/Normal. But the Commission is working with area officials to develop ideas for raising local dollars towards the rail project. The Commission also continues to look for state and federal funding towards the next phase of the long-time Eastern Bypass project.