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Report shows need to invest in Illinois’ transportation network

­pothole 051619SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, TRIP research group and state lawmakers from across the aisle for a press conference Wednesday to discuss findings from a report released by TRIP that shows major deficiencies in Illinois’ transportation network.

“This report has confirmed what we already knew about our transportation system in Illinois – it’s in dire condition and we need to address the problem before it poses even greater safety risks those who use it,” Sandoval said.

The Trip report, “Illinois Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” found that more than 40 percent of roads maintained by state and local government in Illinois are in poor or mediocre condition and that eight percent of state and locally maintained bridges are rated poor or structurally deficient.

The report further found that the poor condition of Illinois’ roads is costing motorists a total of $18.3 billion per year in extra costs to operate and maintain their vehicle.

“This report highlights how expensive it can be for Illinois drivers when the state does not maintain its basic infrastructure,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch. “A stronger transportation system is vital to stronger business and a stronger Illinois. We must act now to improve our economy and quality of life in Illinois through infrastructure investment.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation projects that, under current funding levels, the percentage of state-maintained roads and bridges in need of repairs will increase significantly in the next five years.

“We can either find new revenue to fix this problem now or wait for our roads and bridges to deteriorate further, which will cost taxpayers more later,” Sandoval said. “The choice is easy. We need to make an investment now to improve public safety and protect taxpayers from even higher costs in the future.”

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the federal, state and local levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, Illinois’ transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety and quality of life.”

Traffic crashes in Illinois claimed the lives of over 5,000 people between 2013 and 2017.

“Poor road and bridge conditions are claiming lives in Illinois,” Sandoval said. “This is a safety issue and, as lawmakers, we have the responsibility to make sure it gets fixed.”

Sandoval introduces measure to provide sustainable transportation funding

sandoval 050819SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) unveiled a plan Wednesday that would provide sustainable annual funding to address years of neglect of Illinois’ roads, bridges and transit systems.

“Our transportation system has been underfunded for far too long and it’s time for Illinois to transition to a more sustainable funding method to fix our crumbling roads and the more than 2,300 bridges in our state that are rated as structurally deficient,” Sandoval said. “We’ve been kicking this can down the road for decades and it’s time for us to finally step up and find a solution.”

Sandoval works to improve student safety on school busses

sandoval bus 050619SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) that would improve the safety of children on school busses passed the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday.

House Bill 2121 makes changes to the eligibility standards for individuals with criminal convictions applying for a bus driver license. The legislation would add several criminal offenses to the list of those that would make an individual eligible for a lifetime ban from receiving a license.

“We need to make sure that schools are safe and nurturing environments for our students and that includes ensuring that they have a safe commute to and from school every day,” Sandoval said. “It’s critical that those charged with transporting our children safely have been properly vetted and are deemed fit to carry out their work.”

Criminal offenses that would newly allow an individual to be banned for life under the legislation include permitting the sexual abuse of a child, all aggravated battery offenses and loitering of a sexual predator near a public park.

“It’s just common sense that people who have been convicted of these crimes are not fit to take care of our children every day,” Sandoval said.

The legislation also eliminates the lifetime ban on applicants with convictions for misdemeanor marijuana offenses and replaces it with a 20 year ban.

“It’s time to stop punishing non-violent offenders with minor marijuana convictions so harshly and allow them to return to being productive members of our communities,” Sandoval said. “These men and women should not be barred from a career opportunity for life because of a mistake they made years prior.”

The measure will now go before the entire Senate.

Sandoval passes measure to help put a stop to drunk driving in Illinois

Senator SandovalSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) passed a measure Wednesday that would create a grant program aimed at preventing DUI offenses and supporting victims involved in DUI-related crashes.

“The deaths of two Illinois State Troopers in the last month have demonstrated just how serious of an issue safety on Illinois’ roads has become,” Sandoval said. “It’s time for immediate action to make Illinois a safer place to travel.”

Senate Bill 728 creates the DUI Prevention and Education Fund from which grants will be distributed to crash victim programs and materials, impaired driving prevention programs, law enforcement support and other DUI-related programs.

Funding for these grants will come from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s currently unused Roadside Memorial Fund. No additional revenue will be raised to pay for the program.

“With the availability of new ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, there’s just no excuse for driving under the influence anymore,” Sandoval said. “It’s time to make drunk driving a thing of the past in Illinois.”

The measure passed the Illinois Senate 58-0. It will now go before the House of Representatives.

Sen. Martin A. Sandoval

Majority Caucus Whip
11th District

Years served: 2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Higher Education; Licensed Activities; Transportation (Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Full-time state legislator, born in The Back of the Yards, graduate of Loyola University in Chicago where he earned a Bachelor's of Science in psychology; married (wife, Marina) has three children.

Associated Representatives:
Michael J. Madigan
Celina Villanueva