SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –To examine the devastating effects on the state’s economy caused by Governor Bruce Rauner’s 720 plus day budget impasse, state Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) led a Committee of the Whole House to examine the negative impact that would be caused by a lack of appropriation to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The hearing featured testimony from experts in the transportation field including contractors, IDOT officials, labor unions, and workers from Southern Illinois that would see their jobs disappear if the governor continues to block a budget and there is no funding for IDOT before July 1.
“This governor came into office promising to improve the state’s economy—yet the exact opposite has happened,” Hoffman said. “The fact is, our backlog of bills has tripled, higher education institutions like SWIC and SIU—which are regional economic engines—have been decimated by cuts, and now it’s possible that funding for transportation projects will be cut—leading to the loss of thousands of jobs.”
Starting July 1, IDOT will run of state funds and not be able to make payments to contractors—causing transportation projects to come to a halt and the immediate loss of thousands of jobs statewide. Some contractors have already begun halting work in anticipation of the July 1 deadline.
Due to the “lockbox” constitutional amendment—that was ratified by voters in the November General Election—there is a significant sum of dollars that can only be spent on transportation funding, yet the funds are collecting dust, being unused. Additionally, by not appropriating the funds, the state is missing out on millions of federal dollars that will match each state dollar spent on transportation projects.
“Rauner’s continued refusal to do his job and negotiate a budget is causing great harm to the hard-working people of Illinois,” Hoffman said. “By blocking transportation funding he is causing the loss of thousands of jobs in the Metro-East and across Illinois. Please governor, enough is enough, do your job and work with us to pass a budget.”
Rep Jay Hoffman
261-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1333 FAX
312 S. High St.
Belleville, IL 62220
(618) 416-7409 FAX