President's Corner


January 2021 Light at the End of the Tunnel

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When Illinois’ lawmakers return to Springfield over the next week, they will decide whether to add $275 million to this season’s budget for road and bridge construction. This money is part of $400 million that could be added to the budget over the next five years, mostly made up of federal and freed-up state dollars.

We badly need this extra funding. The urgency to frontload the money into this year’s budget comes due to the drop-off​ in funding from last year. Even with the additional $275 million, the 2013 budget will be reduced by 17 percent from last year.

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With state funding for infrastructure declining, Local 150 members must continue to contact lawmakers about the need for another capital spending plan. The $31 billion “Illinois Jobs Now!” plan that members helped pass in 2009 went a long way to modernizing infrastructure and helped avert a massive depression in the construction industry, but it is reaching its end. 

Members’ activism in 2011 helped deliver a $13 billion plan from the Illinois Tollway. This plan has already put hundreds of members to work, and it will continue to do so, with the Jane Addams reconstruction, Route 53 extension, and Illiana Expressway still in the future.

Still, if we have learned anything in the last few years, it is that if we do not join together and take the bull by the horns, we will be left in the dust. We must be prepared to fight for funding that keeps our roads safe and puts people to work.

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