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On the November 8th general election ballot, you have an opportunity to ensure that the money you spend on transportation related taxes and fees is invested in the maintenance and repair for existing and new roads, highways, mass transit, and other transportation systems to keep your community safe. You have the opportunity to vote YES on the Safe Roads Amendment.
According to the U.S. Transportation Department, 73% of Illinois roads are in poor or mediocre condition and 16% of Illinois bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Advocates of the amendment estimate that over 4,200 state bridges are in poor condition. The amendment’s purpose is to protect funds for transportation projects from being diverted away from the necessary repairs and maintenance to our infrastructure to avoid bridge collapses like those in Minnesota and Indiana.
Within the past ten years, the state has diverted over $6 billion of the money raised from motor fuel taxes, fees for vehicle registrations, license plates, state tollways and other sources away from transportation projects to fund other projects when the state budget has fallen short. This amendment would prohibit the General Assembly or local government from diverting funds from these transportation revenue sources for non-transportation purposes. If passed, the amendment would NOT raise taxes. It means money specifically raised for transportation will be spent on transportation. By passing this amendment, Illinois would join the other thirty states which already have constitutional protections on transportation funding.
The proposed constitutional amendment must be approved by three-fifths of the people voting on the measure, or a majority of those voting in the election in order to be enacted. The actual language that Illinois voters will see on the ballot at the November General Election is as follows:
The proposed amendment adds a new section to the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. The proposed amendment provides that no moneys derived from taxes, fees, excises, or license taxes, relating to registration, titles, operation, or use of vehicles or public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports, or motor fuels, including bond proceeds, shall be expended for other than costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation, costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or other forms of transportation, and other statutory highway purposes, including the State or local share to match federal aid highway funds. You are asked to decide whether the proposed amendment should become part of the Illinois Constitution.
Our aging infrastructure hurts the economy. Marc Poulos, the executive director of the Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting, is quoted in a Progress Illinois article: “Construction projects create and sustain employment for Illinois workers. Raiding transportation funding has cost Illinois nearly 5,000 jobs over the last decade, and it’s costing the average driver $441 every year in vehicle repairs, as well as wasted time and fuel costs because of congestion on our roads.”
Vote Yes on making Illinois roads, highways, mass transit, and other transportation systems safer for your community. Vote Yes to improving Illinois’s economy. Most importantly vote Yes on the Safe Roads Amendment.Back to News