Although the [$45 billion infrastructure] measure drew bipartisan support, details of the plan have Democrats getting bigger slices of capital pie. Democratic senators will see about $6 million in funding for projects in their districts, while Senate Republicans will see about $3 million. Each House Democrat will get about $3 million for district projects; and House Republicans, $1.5 million.
Lawmakers voted to double the state’s 19-cent-per-gallon gas tax to fund roads and mass transit improvements. And they approved Senate President John Cullerton’s proposal to raise the cigarette tax by $1 per pack on the current $1.98 state tax to help fund public building construction.
The disbursement to members was initially planned for $3 million for each lawmaker’s district. But Cullerton told Playbook those numbers were adjusted, given the size of the capital bill — thanks in part to his cigarette tax that was three times more than the 32-cent increase Pritzker proposed.
Simply, the cigarette tax was Cullerton’s baby and he wanted Democrats to benefit from it.
Except a bunch of Republicans also voted for that tax hike.
In past capital bills, every member in each chamber received the same amount of money, regardless of party. But, I suppose with super-majorities in both chambers and the governor, the Democrats could force the Republicans to take whatever they could get. Choosing to die on Pork Chop Hill probably wouldn’t be a good look, which is why we probably haven’t seen much coverage of this topic.