State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) will resign from the Senate to become chairman of the Chicago-based Regional Transportation Authority. The RTA appointment, considered part-time, is effective Aug. 1 and pays $25,000 a year, though Dillard expects it to take up about half his time. He is still part of a Chicago-based law firm, as he was during his Senate career.
“The Illinois Senate’s been a huge part of my life,” he says. “I’m not going away. I’m going to serve the people of Illinois by running a major mass transit agency. I’ll be down begging (lawmakers) for more money for mass transit a few times a year.”
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Dillard’s departure from the Senate follows two campaigns for governor in which he was the primary runner-up. He says he will do whatever he is asked to do to help Republican nominee Bruce Rauner defeat incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.
Meanwhile, “I need to be able to go out and find about $30 billion in pent-up capital money over the upcoming decade,” he said.
The RTA provides oversight of the three transit systems in the Chicago area: The Chicago Transit Authority (buses and the L in Chicago), Metra (regional rail) and Pace (suburban buses).
Serving the areas of Alton, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, Roxana, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Brighton, Bethalto, Grafton, Granite City, Hartford, Highland, Troy, Fairview Heights, Belleville and the surrounding cities.