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James Sweeney Responds to IDOT Shutdown Threat

Photo Credit: Crain’s Chicago Business

In the wake of Illinois’ worsening budget crisis, the Illinois Department of Transportation recently advised contractors and engineers to be prepared to shut down all work on June 30th without additional spending authorization.

Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney made the following statement in response:

“Governor Rauner is using the threat of an IDOT shutdown as a bargaining chip for political purposes, at the expense of motorists and taxpayers. Gambling with public safety by leaving construction projects unfinished is reckless and unacceptable.

Because nearly all of IDOT’s expenditures come from either federal funds or fuel taxes that are constitutionally prohibited from being spent on anything aside from transportation, this shutdown would provide no relief whatsoever to Illinois’ General Revenue Fund. This is political gamesmanship and nothing more. This shutdown would also put an estimated 30,000 people out of work, which will have negative tax implications and create unemployment costs that the State cannot bear at this time.

We are communicating with policymakers to advocate for a full IDOT spending plan for FY 2018, and we will continue to work tirelessly to help the State of Illinois avert a completely avoidable disaster.”

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