U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) promises to fight for transportation funds. Durbin is a member of the conference committee that will reconcile Senate and House transportation plans. The Senate plan, $109 billion over two years, passed 74-22, with supporters from both parties. The House bill on the table is a temporary extension, but Durbin says the real House plan is skin and bones.
“The House Republican transportation bill, which has failed three times to pass, would cut federal aid for highways to Illinois by 15 percent over the next five years. Over $900 million cut,” he said. The Republican plan was $260 billion over five years. Both plans are far short of what the president wants: $556 billion over six years. The conference committee will meet for the first time May 8. U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Belleville) is also on the committee.
Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to see as much money spent as possible on transportation, because it’s good for the economy.