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Credit where credit is due

Tuesday, Jul 9, 2019

* Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) in the Pontiac Daily Leader

“When you talk about the infrastructure side of things and the gas tax, it was a difficult vote to raise,” Brady said. “But on the other hand, we haven’t done this since 1990.

“When the voters approved the concept of a lock box, that will get the money to where it’s supposed to go — to our roads and bridges, etc.”

Anyone who’s driven Illinois roads understands the need to have them in the best shape possible. The four-season variance in weather creates issues on the roadways. They tend to break up in the winter and spring and get repaired in the summer months. It’s kind of a vicious cycle.

“The last time it had been raised was 1990. If we had been raising a little bit, then we would be about 19 cents for a total of 38, where we’re at now,” Brady said.

That lock box amendment was, in retrospect, a genius move. I didn’t care for it at first because it tied the state’s hands during emergency situations. But without that constitutional change, passing the capital bill this year would’ve been infinitely more difficult. The state had skimmed billions from the Road Fund and that had to be stopped before legislators could ask taxpayers to pony up more money.

So, hats off to Local 150 of the Operating Engineers and the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association and everyone else who got that question on the ballot and worked hard to convince voters to approve it. Well done.

Also, linking the MFT to inflation in the new law was something that should’ve been done long ago. It makes the program far more sustainable into the future.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 10:00 am:

    Great move on the lockbox and congrats again to both parties, the governor and Local 150 for the capital bill. Some people have eye-popping rage over a small gas tax increase, but we have to fix our infrastructure and invest in good-paying union jobs.

  2. - Facts Matter - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 10:02 am:

    The Illinois Chamber of Commerce was a primary force behind the lockbox amendment.

  3. - Springfield - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 10:08 am:

    Facts…Lol. The Chamber is a minor player at best. The big dog in the lockbox and Capitol by far was 150.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    ===So, hats off to Local 150 of the Operating Engineers and the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association and everyone else who got that question on the ballot and worked hard to convince voters to approve it. Well done.===

    This is the correct answer.

    The long view here was also the correct view. Seeing now how things have “evolved” on the issue, looking back, vision longer than weeks or a year played a big role in how it looks today.

  5. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 10:21 am:

    What? A union oushing for taxpayer protections on tax expenditures? How does that chew, Rauner?

  6. - Generic Drone - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 10:22 am:


  7. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 10:25 am:

    ==The big dog in the lockbox and Capitol by far was 150.==

    True. It was really more REaction than PROaction, but the fact of the matter was it was ACTION that is and was sorely needed. Now there’s the other half of that equation; the actual work, that needs to be done.

    Gas is still a bit under $3 in my area. The only people I hear talking about this are folks who voted against it. A cast of (not many)

  8. - Facts matter - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 10:29 am:

    From the Sun Times in 2016:

    “The “Safe Roads” amendment was the brainchild, sources told the Sun-Times, of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, who then brought in the trade unions to create a powerful alliance.”

    “State Sen. William Haine, D-Alton, the chief Senate sponsor of the amendment legislation, told the Sun-Times it came to him on behalf of that alliance through Illinois Chamber President Todd Maisch.”

  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    I was looking to fill up in the far western burbs and found more than 30c difference in the high and low within 2 miles’ distance, a lot more of a variance than the recent tax raise. However, the *real* long range view is that if electric cars take off over the next 10 years, the gas tax that makes transportation funding flush now will have a noticeable drop-off and we will be scrambling again to fill the gap.

  10. - Fuct - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 11:27 am:

    The AG has argued that the state is in an “emergency” when it doesn’t feel like honoring a contract. It has abused the term emergency and can’t be trusted, so lockbox is unfortunately necessary.

  11. - Fav human - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 11:41 am:

    How long before someone proposes a lockbox for school funding?

    If Pat Quinn had a clone he could start a petition drive…

  12. - Springfield - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    Facts…seriously. That would not have passed without 150 pushing it. Just because the Chamber was for it also does not mean they were a driving force behind it. Ask anyone who knows how that got done and they will not credit the Chamber but they will all universally credit 150.
    The Chamber is a distant 3rd to the IMA & IRMA when it comes to biz influence in Springfield.

  13. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 4:10 pm:

    My suggestion is that at some point, Illinois carves out the IDOT pension obligation and funds it using transportation revenue.

  14. - Long view - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 6:33 pm:

    The shift to electric vehicles won’t mean less road funding.

    The capital bill hikes fees on EVs so their owners pay a $100 more each year than a gasoline car. That $100 is a little more than an average hybrid driver would pay in gas taxes in a year.

    Plus, a lot of EVs are in cities, where people drive fewer miles on average. If a lot of low milage city drivers get EVs, we might even see a slight uptick in road funding.

  15. - revvedup - Tuesday, Jul 9, 19 @ 7:20 pm:

    Perhaps the way to fiscal fitness is lockbox ALL funds, since Illinois politicians of both parties manifestly failed to keep their hands off various funding sources (non-GRF budget raids) leading to our current debacle.

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