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Manar votes for county road maintenance funding

manar 120715SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) voted in favor of legislation releasing funding for road and bridge funding to local governments in Macon and Sangamon Counties on Monday.

The money comes from the city, county and township share of the state gas tax. Last year governments in the county received $4.8 million for this share of the funds with a similar funds expected this year.

“Without this money, governments have been unable to perform basic road maintenance and repair, prepare for winter weather and many workers faced layoffs. This funding is vital for the most basic duties of government, and I’m hopeful that progress can continue,” Manar said.

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

The road funding was part of a $3.1 billion budget package approved by the Senate that also includes money for 911 emergency systems, domestic violence shelters, emergency services training, GED programs and vocational training.

The legislation also provides money for the Illinois Department of Transportation to buy road salt and perform winter highway maintenance.

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 Senate passed this legislation, Senate Bill 2039, with bipartisan support and the bill will next go to the governor for approval.

Bush supports funding for road maintenance, city government

bush 120715Authorization passes Senate, will head to governor

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Melinda Bush issued the following statement after voting Yes today on an authorization that will release winter road maintenance funds, gaming revenue and higher education funding to local governments and public universities.

The vast majority of funding in question is either federal pass-through dollars or the local shares of motor fuel and gaming taxes to which municipalities are already entitled.

“After months of calling for budget compromise between legislative leaders, it’s about time we see progress being made,” Bush said.  “Today, we were able to ensure that funds that rightly belong in our universities and local governments are put to use. As lawmakers and as taxpayers, we must accept nothing less.”

Besides releasing motor fuel taxes that help local governments buy road salt and authorizing federal money for state community colleges, the funds would, among other things:
•    reimburse lottery winners who have gone unpaid.
•    ensure Driver Services Facilities continue operation.
•    provide the Attorney General’s Office with funding for victim advocacy and support for domestic violence survivors, among other programs.
•    fund domestic violence shelters, 911 services, breast cancer research and veterans’ homes throughout the state.

Senate Bill 2039 passed the Senate 53-0 after it passed the House with near-unanimous support last week. It awaits Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature to take effect.

Cunningham: Time to give local governments their money

cunningham bkgrd chks(CHICAGO)— On Monday, December 7, the Senate voted to pass SB 2039. The legislation would release many non-GRF funds to go where they belong. The Motor Fuel Tax money, or gas tax, is one of the group of funds being released to local governments.

“It is time that we give this money to the communities that need it for public safety issues, like fixing potholes,” said Senator Bill Cunningham, who voted to send gas tax revenue to local communities in May, as well.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, December 2, voted to send that money back to local communities and sent the legislation to the Senate. After Senate approval, it is heading to the governor’s desk for his signature.

“The fact that we had to take this vote again is disappointing. The governor had a chance to send this money out, but instead he vetoed it. I voted to put these funds where they can do some good,” said Cunningham.

Many communities in Cook County will now be able to use money for critical projects. While 2015 gas tax amounts are not yet available, in 2014, Oak Lawn received $1,403,471 in gas tax money. Orland Park, in 2014, received $1,405,377 in gas taxes.

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago.

Illinois Senate Sends Bipartisan Funding Bill to Governor

mcguire 120715SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate today approved a measure authorizing Governor Bruce Rauner to release gaming and gas tax funds to local governments, pay Illinois Lottery winners, support community colleges, train police officers, and shore up human services.

Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) is a co-sponsor of SB 2039. The measure passed the Illinois House on Dec. 2.

"Better late than never," McGuire said. "Had Gov. Rauner negotiated a budget last spring, we could have avoided over five months of anxiety felt everywhere from mayors' offices to GED classrooms. Let's hope this common-sense, bipartisan action continues into the new year."

Among the $3.1 billion in funds released by the legislation are:

•    $100 million in casino taxes to cities with riverboats.
•    $582 million in Motor Fuel Tax to municipalities and counties.
•    $43 million to community colleges and non-profit organizations for adult education and career-technical training.
•    $19 million for domestic violence shelters.
•    $165 million for LIHEAP home heating-bill assistance.
•    $12 million for law enforcement training.

Most of the monies released by the measure are either federal pass-through funds or state funds derived from fees and licenses. Only $28 million comes from Illinois income and sales taxes.

"I urge Gov. Rauner to sign SB 2039 immediately," McGuire said. "The state has played hide-and-seek with this money for far too long."

The measure passed the Senate by a 53-0 vote and now moves to the governor’s desk.

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