State transportation experts discuss budget and transit funding - Metropolitan Planning Council

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State transportation experts discuss budget and transit funding

Business Leaders get look behind transportation funding curtain

The fall quarterly member meeting of Business Leaders for Transportation featured an insightful presentation from Linda Wheeler, consultant with the Transportation for Illinois Coalition (TFIC), about the state transportation budget and its implications for Illinois’ needs and interests for the short and long-term, and provided an intimate conversation with State Reps. Kathy Ryg (D-Vernon Hills) and Mike Tryon ( R-Crystal Lake ) about how to fund and maintain a balanced, sustainable, multi-modal transportation system for a global region.

Linda Wheeler, a retired director of planning and programming for the Illinois Department of Transportation and now with TFIC, candidly discussed the transportation apportionments of the recently passed Illinois State Budget. To put the doom and gloom transportation scenario into perspective, Wheeler compared capital and operating budget numbers from FY03, the last full year of Illinois FIRST capital dollars, and FY08. Her presentation also detailed the 90 percent increase in transportation revenue diverted to other state administrations and agencies from FY01 to FY08. Wheeler warned that Illinois’ motor fuel tax, license and registration fees, and bonds are flat and disappearing revenues that coupled with increasing construction costs pose a real threat to growth opportunities for Illinois .

State Reps. Ryg and Tryon, knowledgeable about the legislative battles in Springfield and key players in the current transportation funding debate, offered their perspectives on the impact of state funding for the entire regional transportation system and provided advice on how Business Leaders for Transportation can be a constructive force pushing for immediate legislative action. The topic of discussion was SB 572 as a fair and equitable solution to the mass transit funding crisis. The representatives urged Business Leaders’ members to contact their legislators and express their views about SB572 and transportation funding.

Save the Date! Next Business Leaders for Transportation member meeting: Friday, December 14, 2007, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Read an analysis of the Illinois State Budget by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

Read more about RTA Reform: SB572 and Amendments 1-6  

Learn more about Illinois House Mass Transit Committee .

Learn more about Moving Beyond Congestion.

Become a member of Business Leaders for Transportation.

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