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Bennett passes compromise to give locals' money back to the locals

Published: Monday, December 07, 2015 02:04 PM

bennett careertechSoon local municipalities across Vermilion and Champaign counties will receive their overdue gas tax money to help prepare for winter storms and patch pot holes.

State Senator Scott Bennett (Champaign) passed Senate Bill 2039, which would free up gas money for local municipalities. State transportation officials haven’t provided exact numbers on how much these communities are owed, but last year, Champaign, for example, received more than $2 million in gas tax money.

“This is local money that needs to be in the hands of local people,” said Bennett. “This compromise is an important step in bridging our current budget stalemate. We need to continue to work together to pass a responsible budget that fulfills our responsibility to the people of Illinois.”

Other Champaign and Vermilion County communities received the following amounts in 2014: Urbana, more than $1 million in funds; and Danville, $817,647.

Additional information about how much local communities are owed in gas tax money is available at www.IllinoisSenateDemocrats.com.

Bennett says while Governor Rauner has said he supports this compromise, the budget impasse began when he vetoed similar proposals back in June.

SB 2039 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and now moves on to the governor’s desk.

Haine votes to bring funding back to local government

Published: Monday, December 07, 2015 01:55 PM

haine ussteelSPRINGFIELD — Millions of dollars owed to local communities will soon be on their way, Illinois Senator Bill Haine said Monday. The Illinois Senate voted to approve funding for items such as winter road maintenance, critical funding for mental health facilities and funding for community colleges.

“This measure is a great step forward in getting Illinois back on track,” Haine said. “These funds are important to local communities and should have never been tied up in the first place. Today, we were able to compromise and now municipalities across Madison and St. Clair counties will receive the funding they need in order to provide essential services. I am pleased to see that Governor Rauner is willing to compromise with us on this important issue.”

The House passed SB 2039 last week and the Senate concurred on the measure today. It will now be sent to the governor for his approval.
The measure also includes funding for the following:

•    $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues.
•    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities.
•    $45 million to the Department of Revenue so local governments can receive their share of video gaming proceeds.
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Math and Science Academy to allow them to access their income funds and pay operating costs.
•    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt.
•    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research.
•    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes.
•    $28 million for nursing home licensing and inspections.
•    $165 million for home heating bill assistance.
•    $77 million for 911-related costs.
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Tobacco Quitline.

Lightford: Good work, but more to be done

Published: Monday, December 07, 2015 01:51 PM

lightford 120715SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) issued the following statement after she voted to free up $3.1 billion in spending to sustain local communities, including motor fuel tax revenue, which has been held up by the budget impasse in Springfield. The measure passed the Senate and now goes to the governor for final approval.

“Today, my colleagues and I proved our resolve to make sure families and local governments have the money to continue functioning without a true budget in place,” said the assistant majority leader. “Now, we must shift our focus to what remains to be budgeted, prioritizing higher education and crucial community services, such as mental health and homeless programs. We have more work to do.”

The legislation releases motor fuel tax revenue for communities throughout Cook County – communities such as Bellwood, Maywood, North Riverside, Westchester, Oak Park and River Forest – that can be used to prepare for winter storms and repair potholes.

The exact dollar amount of how much communities are owed this year has not yet been released, but communities throughout Cook County received nearly $100 million in gas tax money last year.

Other areas of concern that have yet to be dealt with in the piecemeal budget process include MAP grant funding and other scholarships, services for rape victims, addiction treatment, immigrant language translation services, Teen Reach, epilepsy services and respite care.

Still, the legislation (SB 2039) does include the following components:

•    $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues
•    $77 million for 911-related costs
•    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes
•    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities
•    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt
•    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research
•    $165 million for home heating bill assistance

Bertino-Tarrant pledges to vote for funding local services

Published: Thursday, December 03, 2015 02:17 PM

Bertino-Tarrant pledges to vote for funding local servicesPLAINFIELD — State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois House voting to release $3.1 billion in spending that has been held up by the budget impasse in Springfield.

“Yesterday’s action was a step in the right direction. This authorization will ensure local governments receive funding needed to pay for emergency services, road projects and other essential programs. I pledge to vote for it when it comes before the Senate.”

The Senate must pass the legislation, House Amendment 4 to Senate Bill 2039, so that it can be sent to the governor for final approval. A vote on the authorization is scheduled to take place Monday, Dec. 7. Bertino-Tarrant is a Chief Co-Sponsor of the legislation.

The legislation includes the following components.
•    $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues.
•    $77 million for 911-related costs.
•    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes.
•    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities.
•    $45 million to the Dept of Revenue so local governments can receive their share of video gaming proceeds.
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Math and Science Academy to allow them to access their income funds and pay operating costs.
•    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt.
•    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research.
•    $28 million for nursing home licensing and inspections.
•    $165 million for home heating bill assistance.
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Tobacco Quitline.

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