The Illinois legislature has passed a six-year $45 billion infrastructure bill. This is the first major infrastructure bill from the statehouse in ten years. The bill includes wide-ranging updates to state infrastructure funding and a comprehensive plan for investment over the six-year window.
The governor is expected to sign the bill, which will take effect on July 1, 2019. The vast majority of funding for the bill will come from new bonds issued by the state. The remainder will come from a mix of federal, state, local and private funds.
The bill includes an update to how the state handles its fuel tax, a revenue stream that hasn’t been improved since 1990. The fuel tax will now be indexed to inflation to give the state a bit more revenue reliability over the long-term. Indexing to inflation can also help the state avoid some of the losses from increases in fuel-efficient vehicles.
$5 billion will go toward improvements in passenger rail service throughout Illinois. Downstate, almost $400 million will go toward rail improvements including a Metro Link Extension from Scott Air Force Base to MidAmerica Airport.
Approximately $23 billion of funding will go toward fixing roads and bridges throughout the state.
Other spending highlights include $100 million for improvements to bus shelters and transit centers throughout Illinois. A further $70 million will be spent on improving electric vehicle infrastructure statewide.
“After years of neglecting our state’s roads, bridges, mass transit, and buildings, Illinoisans’ health and safety have been jeopardized, and job creation has been hindered. I’m proud that the state is on the verge of adopting a bipartisan infrastructure plan for the first time in a decade. Our plan to rebuild our roads, bridges and communities will create hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout our state,” Governor Pritzker said in a statement on passage of the bill.