Gov. Bruce Rauner sliced some chunks off the state construction budget before signing it.
The majority of the cuts come from appropriations for improvements at the Capitol Complex in Springfield, such as $10 million for heating, air conditioning, and accessibility upgrades, and $8.5 million for planning to replace or renovate the Stratton Building.
Funds for road projects were left untouched, which is welcome to news to Mike Sturino, president of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association.
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“While they may be needed for renovations for our fine state capitol, they certainly don’t have the impact on the hundreds and thousands and millions of drivers in Illinois,” Sturino said.
Sturino says if Rauner had vetoed funds for previously approved road projects, needed maintenance would have been deferred and construction workers may have needed to collect unemployment benefits.
There is one smaller veto Sturino isn’t pleased with—a $700,000 appropriation which would have been used to study a mileage-based user fee to replace the gas tax.
“The gas tax is really an unsustainable model in the long run,” Sturino said.
Among the other appropriations vetoed by Rauner were $5 million appropriated for the development of the proposed South Suburban Airport near Peotone.