Rauner Mum On “Safe Roads” Amendment

September 27, 2016
View of the Illinois Great River Road, north of Alton.

View of the Illinois Great River Road, north of Alton.

"Kbh3rd" / Wikimedia Commons

A proposed change to the Illinois constitution would ensure the state has a solid stream of cash going to fund road projects, but Governor Rauner is staying silent on the idea.

Voters will decide if the state should put constraints on money raised through license plate fees and motor fuel taxes, by forbidding that money to be used on other needs.

Governor Bruce Rauner won't say whether it's a good idea or not. 

"I, definitely have always had a view on it”, said Rauner when asked about the constitutional amendment. “I’m just not going to comment on it.”

A well-funded campaign backed by both business and labor groups is calling on voters to choose "yes." 

They say too much money intended for roads has been “swept” from license plate and motor fuel tax revenues for other uses, and that limiting those funds for road projects only this will keep Illinois’ roads and bridges safe. 

Critics say the amendment would effectively write a gravy train for contractors and labor unions into the state constitution.  They also say it will leave lawmakers hamstrung to make budgeting decisions.

Rauner says there are pros and cons to the proposal, but he didn't elaborate.

“At this point, it’s in front of the voters and I’ll let the voters decide,” the governor said.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio