During the extended legislative session on Sunday, June 2, the Illinois Senate passed a long overdue capital and infrastructure plan (Senate Bill 1939) that provides funding for upgrades to Illinois’ crumbling roads and bridges.
State Senator Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles), the lead Senate Republican negotiator on the plan, said he was pleased with the bipartisanship throughout the entire process of crafting the package.
“This plan is a win for the State of Illinois,” said Sen. DeWitte. “If you travel the roads and bridges at all across the state, you know they are in terrible condition and have been ignored for years.”
Sen. DeWitte said the deterioration of the state’s infrastructure was the outcome not only of years of funds being swept from the Road Fund, but also a result of cost increases and scarce available revenues.
“The problem over the past two decades is that the cost of repair and maintenance projects continues to escalate and the available funding continues to decrease due to better fuel economy cars,” said Sen. DeWitte. “Today, people need less gasoline than they did twenty years ago; therefore, there is less money for transportation projects.”
The plan, which included a variety of revenue streams, passed the Senate with a 46-10 vote.
“I think constituents can find relief in knowing that when they pay for a tank of gas, that tax money will only be paying for transportation projects thanks to the lock box amendment that the voters passed a couple of years ago,” said Sen. DeWitte. “Unlike other taxes sent to Springfield, we know exactly where this money is going to be spent.”
The Senate also passed a proposal (Senate Bill 690) to fund “vertical” capital needs on Sunday. A majority of the revenue in SB 690 comes from the expansion of gaming throughout the state.
Both capital bills now head to the Governor for consideration.