Illinois Passes Budget & Approves Infrastructure Spending

June 5, 2018 - CLDC LMCC LECET

It’s been ten years since Illinois has had a capital bill. In the decade since the $31 billion capital program was signed by then-Governor Pat Quinn the public construction industry has been on a steady decline, punctuated by a sharp drop off that culminated in 20,000 plus construction worker layoffs in the peak of construction season due to Governor Rauner’s manufactured crisis. In a drastic turn of events, the state approved a bipartisan budget last week and Governor Rauner agreed to sign it on Monday.

The budget includes several billion in funding for infrastructure, and more than $400 million for public schools, colleges, and universities. The capital spending plan re-approves spending for many projects that have been delayed and put on hold over the years caused by funding shortfalls and more recent projects that were halted when Rauner shut down all IDOT projects last year. While the spending plan leaves many major infrastructure needs unaddressed, it is a step in the right direction and will lead to thousands of work hours for Laborers’ this construction season.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • $8.8 billion in Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) capital re-appropriations for projects put on hold during the budget impasse
  • $2.9 billion in IDOT pay-as-you-go capital, including $2.2 billion for IDOT’s Fiscal Year 2019 road program
  • $50 million for high-speed rail projects and maintenance
  • $400 million in deferred maintenance and $100 million for statewide emergency spending
  • $75 million for higher education facilities and emergency projects
  • $172 million for improvements necessary to build the Obama Presidential Library in Jackson Park, the bulk of which is for a new Metra station at 59th Street
  • $500 million for an “innovation center” in the south loop
  • $53,775,000 for the Quincy Veterans’ Home water quality improvement projects