Lou Lang Wins Passage of $29 Billion State Construction Program to Fix Roads, Schools, Bridges, Parks, Mass Transit

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois House on Thursday approved a $29 billion capital plan to build or rebuild schools, roads, bridges, public parks, and mass transit.

The House supported the legislation to fund the plan passed 86-30, but the bills to spend the money each

Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

passed 117-0. Many House Republicans opposed the revenue bills, but voted in favor of the spending.

“This construction program represents Illinois’ economic stimulus package,” said State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), the chief sponsor of the legislation.

“This is the bill that will put thousands of our people to work, repair the infrastructure of our state and do great things moving forward for the citizens and the economy of the state of Illinois,” Lang said.

This is the first Illinois capital program in more than 10 years, Lang notes.

“This new construction program represents a significant, and some ways a historic, achievement by the Illinois General Assembly,” said Lang. “We have put the dysfunction of the Blagojevich years behind us.”
Some of the construction highlights include:

  • $2.8 billion in new road projects
  • $1.5 billion for school construction
  • $1.4 billion for universities and community colleges
  • $150 million for Amtrak
  • $2 billion for public transportation: 10 percent for downstate, the rest to the Chicago area
  • $875 million for environmental and water projects
  • $150 million for state parks

For the RTA, the capital plan provides $1.8 billion, plus $900 million in the recent “mini” capital bill, bringing to $2.7 billion from the state for mass transit infrastructure needs in the Chicago area.

Governor Pat Quinn has announced that he will not sign the capital bill until lawmakers approve new state budget. For that reason, Lang initiated a parliamentary maneuver to withhold the bills from Quinn until the Governor commits to signing the measures.

“When the governor is ready to sign the bill, I’ll send it to him,” said Lang

Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn on May 31.


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