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Blagojevich officials kick off tour to build support for Illinois Works          Send a link to a friend

Comprehensive capital plan to fund roads, bridges, transit, schools, environment and energy projects statewide

Plan will support 725,000 jobs, provide $300 million more in annual funding for Illinois schools

[September 25, 2007]  HARRISBURG -- On behalf of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Milt Sees joined legislators and education, labor and business leaders in southern Illinois on Monday to launch a statewide effort urging members of the Illinois House of Representatives to pass Illinois Works, a comprehensive capital program to fund roads, bridges, transit, schools, and environment and energy projects throughout Illinois. The $25.4 billion capital plan was passed unanimously by the Illinois Senate on Sept. 18. Blagojevich and a growing coalition are urging members of the Illinois House to work across party lines and pass the legislation, which is expected to support more than 725,000 jobs statewide.

In southern Illinois alone, Illinois Works would provide a total of over $193 million for vital construction and infrastructure projects, as well as $17.15 million more every year for education.

"Schools. Job growth. Transportation. The environment. These are not Democrat issues. They are not Republican issues. These are the issues that impact all of us and the communities we live in," said Sees. "For eight years, the state has gone without a capital plan that would make needed investments in our infrastructure. But last week, members of the Illinois Senate came together and passed the most ambitious building plan in our history. Now it's time for the Illinois House to do the same so we can finally repair aging bridges and roads and crumbling, overcrowded schools."

Illinois Works would be funded with new revenue generated from a publicly owned casino in Chicago and two other new casinos, along with an expansion of positions at existing casinos. In addition to providing money to improve statewide infrastructure, the legislation would also provide $300 million more each year for schools statewide, building on the $550 million education funding increase included in the budget for fiscal 2008. For school districts in southern Illinois, that means a total increase of $17.15 million every year.

"It is time to get men and women back to work here in southern Illinois, and this capital bill is the way to do that," said state Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg. "This has been long overdue, and the time is now."

"The time for talk about a capital bill is over. People in southern Illinois deserve action. We took action in the Senate last week and passed a capital bill that will build roads, bridges and schools and put thousands of people to work. And I urge the House to do the same," said state Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton.

Combined with federal, state and local funds, the multiyear statewide program will provide:

  • $15.625 billion to build and improve roads and bridges.

  • $4.875 billion for K-12 and higher education school construction projects.

  • $2.588 billion for public transit, passenger rail and airports.

  • $6.25 billion for economic development projects that will enhance Illinois' communities.

  • $1.116 billion for environmental and energy projects that will improve drinking and wastewater facilities statewide, redevelop brownfields, and improve and repair state-owned dams.

  • $553 million to renovate and expand state facilities across Illinois.

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Under Illinois Works, southern Illinois will benefit from the following development projects:

Roads and bridges

  • $104 million for Illinois 13 from Illinois 148 to Halfway Road in Marion and for Division Street in Carterville to Illinois 148 in Marion

  • $7.5 million for Veterans Memorial Drive extension

  • $300,000 to replace bridge beams and install a new deck on Illinois 1 at Indian Creek

  • $375,000 to replace bridge beams and install a new deck on Illinois 142 at Bear Creek

  • Over $1 million to replace the bridge on Old U.S. 51 at the Cache River in Ullin

  • $950,000 to replace the bridge on Old U.S. 51 at the Boar Creek Ditch north of Villa Ridge

  • $425,000 to bridge beams and install a new deck on the bridge at Bankston Creek west of Harrisburg


  • $43,811,600 for constructing a Transportation and Education Center at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

  • $21,800,000 to complete the renovation and expansion of the Morris Library at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

  • $2,437,500 to Southern Illinois University for miscellaneous improvement projects

  • $10.8 million for the DuQuoin School District's school construction program grant

  • $2.46 million for the Benton School District's school construction program grant

  • $1.6 billion to award new school construction program grants across the state

  • $150 million for the school maintenance program to provide up to $50,000 to each district in Illinois

  • $10 million for a new early childhood facilities program

Public transportation

  • $425 million to match federal transit dollars

  • $29 million for operating assistance to downstate transit districts

The Illinois House is expected to take up Illinois Works during the fall legislative session, which begins on Oct. 2.

[Text from file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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