"Construction For-ev-or" by Flickr User Kyle May / (CC X 2.0)

An Illinois group that wants to prevent transportation funds from being diverted elsewhere has spent about $2.5 million for television advertising.

Figures released Thursday by the Center for Public Integrity show that Citizens to Protect Transportation Funding spent the money to air their ads nearly 1,300 times this election cycle.

Since 2003, an estimated $6.8 billion in transportation funds generated by tolls, license fees and the gas tax have been used by state government for other things. That's according to the Transportation for Illinois Coalition.

"Construction Cones" by Flickr User The Tire Zoo / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois voters will vote this fall on a constitutional amendment affecting road funding.  

In the past, the state has reallocated road funding to plug holes in the budget.  

Fed up with this move, road contractors and construction workers had an idea:  Amend the Illinois Constitution so these funds must be used on transportation needs, and nothing else.

Lawmakers overwhelmingly agreed to put the amendment on this year's ballot.    


Illinois has borrowed $550 million for construction at what Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration says is a record-low interest rate despite the state's beleaguered financial position.

Rauner's office announced Thursday that it sold $550 million in bonds at an interest rate of 3.7 percent. That's below the 4 percent interest offered when it sold $480 million in January.

Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly contends it's the lowest interest rate in history among similarly situated general obligation bonds.

Illinois Road Projects On Hold For State Budget

Jun 9, 2016
"End Construction" by Flickr User Chris Lasher / (CC X 2.0)

The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to spend about 2 billion dollars on road projects for the next fiscal year that starts July 1 -- if there's a budget.

The lack of a deal could kill the construction season. 

That's what business leaders, contractors, laborers and other members of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition say.

Co-chair Todd Maisch, who's also CEO of the state Chamber of Commerce, says no spending on roads this summer would cause construction firms to close, or lay off workers.

"End Construction" by Flickr User Chris Lasher / (CC X 2.0)

Good-government advocates are criticizing the head of an agency that manages state construction projects for asking builders to lobby lawmakers to restore funding.


An email obtained by The Associated Press was sent Tuesday by Jodi Golden, executive director of the Gov. Bruce Rauner's Capital Development Board.

Golden's government email implored ``Construction Industry Partners'' to urge lawmakers to break the budget deadlock and approve more than $2.1 billion to resume construction this year and more for next year.