A measure introduced by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, to ensure that local public transit agencies receive promised state funding has now become law.
“Residents in my district and throughout downstate Illinois rely on public transportation to take them to their job, doctor’s appointments and school,” Stuart said. “Affordable, reliable and safe public transportation is critical to any economy, especially here in the Greater St. Louis area. In the case of transit in the Metro East, the state is required by law to transfer a designated amount from the state’s sales tax to our transportation funds. Local residents have continued paying their sales taxes, but our local agencies haven’t seen the revenue that they were promised and that they were depending on.”
After facing funding uncertainty during the state budget impasse, Stuart’s House Bill 2453 requires state sales tax funds earmarked by law for downstate transportation to be deposited directly into a dedicated fund rather than passing through the state’s general revenue fund, eliminating the need for an authorized transfer by the state Comptroller.
Stuart’s measure allows transit agencies to be directly paid money that has been set aside for them, instead of having to wait for existing bureaucratic procedures that have prevented agencies from receiving what is rightfully owed in a timely manner.
“Streamlining the state funding to downstate transit agencies allows Madison County Transit to provide critical transportation services to thousands of local residents,” said MCT Managing Director Jerry Kane. “We appreciate Rep. Stuart’s efforts to prioritize the needs of our communities and ensure that local agencies receive the vital support that is needed to operate.”
— The Illinois Business Journal