Illinois will invest another eight point six billion dollars into roads, bridges and other projects. It's the latest installment of a major infrastructure plan lawmakers passed in 2010. Now, Governor Pat Quinn is calling for a new one. But he's not saying where the money should come from.
The 2010 infrastructure program - known as Illinois Jobs Now! - has funded thousands of miles of road repairs so far -- paid for by higher taxes on alcohol, candy and soft drinks; a higher license plate fee; and revenue from video poker.
Quinn has parceled out announcing those plans over the past several years. The latest include a new bridge in Moline, bridge replacements on the Stevenson Expressway in Chicago, and work on I-74 near Champaign. But that program is winding down.
In his budget speech, Gov. Quinn called for a new one to address ever-present infrastructure needs. A transportation group has proposed hiking Illinois' vehicle registration fees, adding a sales tax to oil changes and car washes ... and a higher tax on gasoline.
Quinn says he's not for that.
"I think that's a depleting resource; I think using the gas tax to fund our future would not be a wise idea" Quinn says.
But he offered no suggestions of his own. He's leaving it up to an as-yet unnamed, bipartisan panel of legislators to figure out how to pay for it.