* Greg Hinz…
Pritzker’s people tell me they’ll be floating their own version of the capital bill “very soon.”
That would be helpful, because the Sandoval bill is getting all sorts of play, and not necessarily in a good way.
* Rep. Welch also chairs the House Executive Committee, so pay attention to what he says…
The motor fuel tax bump would be a hard pitch for Democratic Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch, from Hillside, to make to his constituents, he said.
“From 19 cents to 44 cents a gallon for gas is a lot of money and to go home and try to explain that to people — that’s hard to do, especially in a district like the one I serve,” Welch said.
And Rep. David McSweeney, a Republican from Barrington Hills, said while it is “clear” the roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure in the state need attention, raising the motor fuel tax is not the way to pay for it.
“I oppose this bill because I don’t support an increase to the gas tax, and I think we need a capital bill, but I think we should use the revenue from the sports gambling bill,” he said.
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to legalize that practice, and he projected $200 million in revenues from sports gambling licensing fees in his proposed budget. It is one of several revenue streams in Pritzker’s budget that are not guaranteed to become law.
$200 million wouldn’t even make a dent in the problem.
…Adding… Rep. McSweeney…
Sports gambling will likely produce closer to $300 million. Even if you use a $200 million annual revenue stream, you could issue about $2 billion of debt based on that. I support bonding for a capital bill. The current proposals do not yet have a bonding component.
* For example…
As is the case everywhere, the needs across Sangamon County and the city of Springfield are numerous. However, in their meeting with [Deputy Governor Christian Mitchell], local leaders made clear their top priority — without a close second — is securing the funds necessary to complete the remaining phases of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project.
“If you want one project, and that was driven home by the deputy governor, is ‘OK, is this really your top priority with rail?’ I said yes, without a doubt it is,” [Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder] said. “So, to me, it signified you have limited funds, what do you want with those limited funds if you get one request?”
The capital request, put together by local political and civic leaders in conjunction with the Land of Lincoln Economic Development Corporation, includes $121.2 million needed for the completion of the rail project.
The project, which started with rail underpass construction on Carpenter Street in 2014 and has an overall price tag of $315 million, aims to alleviate rail congestion downtown by consolidating train traffic from Third Street to 10th Street and through building a series of overpasses and underpasses along the corridor.