It’s time for state lawmakers to put together another construction program, says Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). He says it’s needed, but won’t be easy to accomplish.
“It’s really important, I’m supportive of it. It does require, though some tough votes. It’s not just spending money, it’s not just borrowing money without providing a way to pay off (the bonds), but it does create jobs and it keeps the money here in Illinois,” he said.
A revenue source other than the motor fuel tax must be found to pay for the program, because that tax is a per-gallon tax, and cars are more fuel efficient than they were decades ago, so the tax is producing less revenue, but the need for roads is the same, Cullerton said.
The last construction program, enacted in 2009, was for $31 billion – money spent on roads, bridges, transit, schools, and local water and sewer systems – but that program has expired.
Cullerton says if there’s to be another construction program, it’ll require bi-partisan votes, and it probably won’t be considered in Springfield until the state budget for this year and next is in clearer focus.