Guv turns down tollway sale again, but it’s a whole lot of cash
Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006
The governor said once again that he doesn’t want to sell or lease the tollway.
â€œWeâ€™re not going to sell the tollway. Iâ€™m not interested in that, for several reasons. Weâ€™ve done a lot of great things at the tollway to help commuters get to where they want to go faster. One of the problems with privatizing the tollway is the private companies whose motivation is to raise profits. Theyâ€™re apt to raise tolls, and they may be less interested in maintaining the infrastructure,â€ said Blagojevich, a Democrat in his first term.
But some legislators who were briefed yesterday came away drooling at the possible $24 billion windfall.
Supporters of leasing out the tollway downplayed Tuesday the potential impact of related toll hikes as several suburban leaders appeared increasingly skeptical of the idea.
Steve Rauschenberger wasn’t impressed.
“You buy four or six years of political peace with that,â€ he said.
And some of the tax-eaters have already said what they want if the tollway is ever sold.
Schoenberg got an earful a week ago from AFSCME Illinois Council 31, Business Leaders for Transportation in the Chicago area, the Mid-West Truckers Association, the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, and the Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region. Each offered wish lists for safeguarding wages, benefits, retirement and training of current tollway employees. They also urged caution in deciding how the extra state revenue would be spent.