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Senate sends local funding measure to governor

sb2039 passes

The Illinois Senate voted unanimously in favor of legislation releasing funding for road and bridge funding to local governments on Monday. Senate Bill 2039 was sponsored by Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) and represented a bipartisan compromise. That money had been stalled in Springfield since July 1 because of the budget stalemate with the governor.

“As a former mayor, I want to make sure our local governments have what they need to keep our communities safe and services running,” said Cullerton. “This is a step in the right direction. I’ll continue to work with the General Assembly and governor to reach continuing compromise and put a responsible budget in place.”

Counties and municipalities may soon have millions of dollars going back in their communities to keep their roads safe, local health departments operating and provide energy assistance to seniors and vulnerable populations. The package includes local shares of motor fuel tax revenues and ensures the lottery can pay all prize winners. It authorizes spending for winter road maintenance and 911 emergency services.

The gas tax funding is typically awarded automatically but vetoes by the governor this summer froze the money in state accounts.

Senate Bill 2039 represents a $3.1 billion budget package that also includes money for domestic violence shelters, emergency services training, GED programs and vocational training.

It includes $165 million for the state’s assistance to seniors and low-income families to help with winter energy and heating costs. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP, is funded through a combination of state and federal dollars. The federal funding has been going to families but the state’s portion has been held up by the budget impasse.

The legislation also gives local governments their share of gaming revenue and allows the Illinois Lottery to pay winners.

The bill now goes to the governor for approval. A list of motor fuel tax allotments for 2014 by county is available here.

To read individual Senators’ reactions to today’s action, click on their names below:

Senator Scott Bennett
Senator Daniel Biss
Senator Melinda Bush
Senator Bill Cunningham
Senator Tom Cullerton
Senator Gary Forby
Senator Bill Haine
Senator Don Harmon
Senator Linda Holmes
Senator Mattie Hunter
Senator Dave Koehler
Senator Kimberly A. Lightford
Senator Terry Link
Senator Andy Manar
Senator Pat McGuire
Senator Laura Murphy
Senator Donne Trotter