The Illinois Department of Transportation has released what it calls a robust approach to upgrading the state’s transportation systems, but it says more could be done. IDOT will oversee $9.2 billion worth of projects over the next five fiscal years – most of it will come from state and federal sources. But department secretary Ann Schneider says more could be done if lawmakers fix ongoing pension and Medicaid problems.
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“Without any action to address the pension problems, in just six years that pension contribution could be upwards of $400 million per year for IDOT employees at its current head count level,” she says. Schneider says that contribution was just $60 million five years ago. IDOT’s new plan is its first multi-modal plan, which will focus on how various modes of transportation can be effectively linked. The plan includes $6.5 billion from federal sources, $2.2 billion from the state, $1.2 billion from the state’s “Illinois Jobs Now!” capital campaign and $454 million from local funds.