By CARL GREEN
East St. Louis – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker chose an appropriate place to announce his signing of the state’s $45 billion, six-year capital spending bill – a major road in East St. Louis, a town with plenty of construction needs.
Pritzker also announced the signing in Springfield and Joliet on June 28. It was just in time, because on Monday, July 1, the higher state gasoline tax that will pay for it went into effect, spiking prices by 19 cents a gallon, twice the amount set in 1990.
In East St. Louis, Pritzker noted that if the tax had been indexed to inflation since 1990, it would have increase by 19 cents anyway.
“We would have experienced of the investment that would have come from the dollars in the gas tax over all those years. We did not. We need to make up for that,” he said in a Belleville News-Democrat report on the event.
The existing special fuels tax on diesel fuel, liquefied natural gas and propane increase from 2.5 cents per gallon to 7.5 percent per gallon, expected to raise $78 million a year for roads. The gasoline increase will go 48 percent to the state roads and bridges fund, 32 percent to local governments for roads and bridges and 20 percent to local transit districts.
The capital spending plan, called Rebuild Illinois and the first in a decade for the state, is the state’s biggest ever, Pritzker said. It was approved by bipartisan super-majorities in the Legislature.
Pritzker actually signed the bill at a ceremony by the Lincoln Depot historic site in Springfield, which will benefit from relocation of train traffic from 3rd Street 10th Street. He also signed the gambling expansion bill.
The State Capitol project will replace its mechanical systems and return the appearance of public spaces to that of the late 1800s.
The governor addressed a complaint that Democratic legislators’ districts were faring better than those of Republicans.
“The fact is the majority of the money goes to downstate Illinois,” he said. “The miles of roads all across the state, the bridges, the significant investment necessary is mostly in downstate Illinois. Most of that is represented by Republican representatives and senators. The money is being distributed very fairly, I think, across the state.
Pritzker expects the projects to generate some 540,000 jobs.“This is more than an infrastructure plan,” he said. “This is a job creation plan the likes of which the state has never seen.”
The governor’s office issued this breakdown of how the money will be used:
TRANSPORTATION: $33.2 BILLION
- $14 billion plus for new roads and bridges
- $11 billion for road and bridge improvements
- $4.7 billion for mass transit
- $1 billion for passenger rail, including Amtrak
- $558 million for aeronautics
- $492 million for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program
- $312 million for grade crossing protections
- $150 million for ports
- $679 million for other transportation projects
EDUCATION: $3.5 BILLION
- $2.9 billion for higher education projects
- $415 million for elementary school maintenance
- $111 million for early childhood education facilities
STATE FACILITIES: $4.4 BILLION
- $4 billion for deferred maintenance and new projects at state facilities
- $350 million for the State Capitol
ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION: $1 BILLION
- $290 million, hazardous waste projects
- $140 million, renewable energy projects
- $110 million, water revolving fund
- $100 million, unsewered communities
- $92 million, ecosystem restoration
- $75 million, parks and recreation facility construction
- $40 million, well plugging
- $35 million, land acquisition
- $31 million, flood mitigation
- $29 million, green infrastructure grants
- $23 million, open space land acquisition and development
- $22 million, dam and waterway projects
- $20 million, conservation reserve
BROADBAND: $420 MILLION
• $400 million, statewide broadband expansion
• $20 million, Illinois Century Network
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: $465 MILLION
• $200 million, affordable housing
• $200 million, hospital and health care improvements
• $50 million, community health centers
• $15 million, human services grants
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: $1.8 BILLION
• $594 million, community development
• $425 million, economic development
• $401 million, public infrastructure
• $112 million, education and scientific facilities
• $75 million, economically depressed areas
• $51 million, museums
• $50 million, libraries
• $50 million, emerging technology enterprises
• $50 million, arts
• $25 million, apprenticeship program
• $15 million, for Minority-Owned Business Program
The gasoline increase will go 48 percent to the state roads and bridges fund, raising $590 million a year, 32 percent to local governments for roads and bridges, for $400 million, and 20 percent to local transit districts, raising $250 million a year.
The existing special fuels tax on diesel fuel, liquefied natural gas and propane increase from 2.5 cents per gallon to 7.5 percent per gallon, expected to raise $78 million a year for roads.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, vehicle registration fees increase from $101 to $151 for 2021 registrations. Electric vehicle registration, currently $34 every other year, goes to the same price as regular vehicles plus $100 in lieu of the motor fuel tax. Truck registration goes up by $50 for 8,000 pounds and under and by $100 for 8,001 pounds and more. The commercial distribution fee is dropped.
Title registration fees increase from $95 to $150 for regular titles and $95 to $250 for mobile homes. Other changes are raising the salvage certificate fee from $4 to $20, creating a new junk vehicle fee for $10 and dropping the duplicate title fee from $95 to $40.
Among Metro-East area projects are:
- $211.6 million for a new Interstate 270 bridge over the Mississippi River in a shared project with Missouri. The current bridge was built in 1966
- $146 million for bridge, ramp and shoulder repairs and resurfacing on I-255 from Illinois 3 to Collinsville Road
- $105 million to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for a health sciences building and other improvements
- $96 million to extend MetroLink from the Shiloh Scott station to MidAmerica Airport
- $81 million for the Illinois 3 connector project in East St. Louis including reconstruction along Exchange Avenue, improving traffic flow in Fairmont City, Madison and East St. Louis
- $55 million for an Illinois State Police regional facility
- $33 million for an I-255 interchange at Imbs Station Road connecting to Davis Street Ferry Road in Dupo
- $35 million on I-55/I-64 at Poplar Street to preserve eastbound access via Illinois 3, and Tudor and Piggott avenues
- $32 million on I-64 from Greenmount Road to Illinois 158 for additional lanes and bridge repairs
- $24.4 million for the Delhi Bypass, to reroute U.S. 67 east of the town of Delhi in Jersey County with a four-lane highway replacing a two-lane road
- $20 million for reconstruction and bridge rehabilitation from the Mississippi River to I-64
- $2 million to demolish derelict and abandoned properties in East St. Louis
- $1 million to East Side Health District for urban farming and clinic services projects
- $1.6 million for the intersection of Hartman Lane and Central Park in O’Fallon
- $750,000 for improvements to Clinton Hill Conservation Park, Swansea
- $700,000 for a sanitary sewer extension along Illinois 159 and 162 in Maryville