The Illinois General Assembly over the weekend voted on a multi-billion-dollar package of legislation that would modernize Illinois infrastructure, though details of it were still becoming clear on Monday morning.
The package included a $40 billion budget approved by the Senate on Sunday just hours after passage in the House.
In addition, a $45 billion capital plan called Rebuild Illinois received bipartisan support, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker released a statement in support.
“After years of neglecting our state’s roads, bridges, mass transit, and buildings, Illinoisans’ health and safety have been jeopardized, and job creation has been hindered. I’m proud that the state is on the verge of adopting a bipartisan infrastructure plan for the first time in a decade. Our plan to rebuild our roads, bridges and communities will create hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout our state. The Rebuild Illinois plan will reinvigorate our economy and strengthen our rightful status as the transportation and supply chain hub of the nation,” Pritzker said.
“This historic step forward wouldn’t be possible without the leadership of Senators Sandoval, Manar, Hutchinson, DeWitte, Tracy and McConchie, and Representatives Hoffman, Arroyo, Gordon-Booth, Spain, McDermed and Butler, and countless advocates. I look forward to signing Rebuild Illinois into law to create jobs and make it easier to do business across our state,” his statement said.
State Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, said it was an obligation to approve the measures.
“It is our job as lawmakers to ensure the needs of the communities we represent are met, and overall the South Suburbs stand to benefit immensely from this capital plan,” he said. “Our schools will be receiving sorely needed maintenance, our roads and bridges will be modernized and we will be able to reap the financial benefits the gaming industry can provide for our community.”
Currently, 2,300 bridges around the state are rated structurally deficient, he said.
“Prolonging a capital plan is simply inviting tragedy to strike. During this spring session, we sought solutions in order to update our infrastructure so it is safe to use for the millions of individuals who frequent Illinois roads,” Hastings said. “By approving the capital plan, we have been able to accomplish that while also creating new, good-paying jobs.”
Under the capital plan, the South Suburbs of Chicago would also be eligible to build a casino and racetrack in the future, providing the area with revenue while simultaneously cementing the community as a statewide destination.
This story will be updated as facts becoming available.