From AP - News Headlines -

Quinn Signs Capital Construction Bill for Illinois

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the state's first major construction spending bill in a decade on Monday.

The 31-billion dollar measure is supposed to help fix roads, bridges, schools and public transit systems. Projects it will fund in east-central Illinois include improvements to I-74 from Mahomet to the Prospect Avenue exit in Champaign; a new interchange for I-57/70 around Effingham; the long-awaited renovation of Lincoln Hall at the University of Illinois; and construction of a new student services addition at Parkland College.

Now that he's signed the capital bill, Quinn says he's optimistic lawmakers will agree on a budget when they return to Springfield on Tuesday.

"I think the two go hand in hand", says Quinn, "having a stable budget allows us to sell the bonds for economic recovery. And the economic recovery helps our budget. The only way we're going to get out of our economic doldrums is to get people working."

The governor's office estimates the capital bill will create about half a-million jobs over the next six years.

Revenue from higher vehicle fees and increased food taxes will help pay for it. It's also funded by a massive expansion of video poker machines.

Categories: Government, Politics