Illinois could have $275 million more for road and bridge projects this year if lawmakers approve a Department of Transportation funding plan. DOT officials have found $400 million mostly in extra federal and free-up state money to pump into the transit improvement program over the next five years. One lawmaker says the DOT wants immediate legislative approval so work can begin when the weather warms up. If the legislation passes it would be a 15 percent increase from the almost $1.8 billion dollars the DOT said it would spend in the fiscal year ending June 30.
Democratic Sen. John Sullivan says he expects bipartisan support as long as questions about where the money will go are answered. The decision to add the measure to an already busy agenda for the lame duck session is expected today. Lawmakers are expected to deal with major issues such as the underfunded pension system, the legalization of gay marriage and a ban on military-style assault weapons.