Press Releases
May 25, 2009
Contact: Nick Kaleba 312-222-1000 / 773-458-0958


Chicago’s unions applaud $28 billion Capital Bill

The Chicago Federation of Labor today applauded members of the Illinois General Assembly for passing a $28 billion capital investment package

Chicago, IL —

The Chicago Federation of Labor today applauded members of the Illinois General Assembly for passing a $28 billion capital investment package to improve the state’s crumbling infrastructure and put people back to work during the worst economic recession in decades.

The capital package is made up of a series of three bills—HB 255 (revenue), HB 312 (spending) and HB 2400 (bonding).  The bills passed the House of Representatives this afternoon after clearing the Senate on Wednesday. 

“This is a stimulus package for Illinois that will get our economy back on track by putting people back to work,” said Dennis Gannon, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor. “Legislators stepped up to the plate this week and did the right thing for the people of Illinois. Over the next five years, tens of thousands of men and women in the Chicago area and across the state will go to work making our roads and bridges safer, our schools better for our children, and our mass transit systems more effective.”

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, 32 percent of major roads are in poor or mediocre condition and need repair and 4,583 bridges are classified as functionally obsolete and/or structurally deficient.  Investment in Illinois’ transportation infrastructure will keep the state competitive and rebuild its economy by putting men and women back to work.  Illinois currently faces 9.4 percent unemployment, the highest level since 1983.  According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, every $1.25 billion spent on transportation creates nearly 35,000 jobs.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed a $3 billion ‘jump-start’ bill to fund some shovel-ready road repair and transit projects but does not come close to the community benefits included in the current comprehensive, multi-year plan.

The Chicago Federation of Labor has been working toward a capital plan since January and Gannon testified yesterday in the Senate on behalf of the bills.  In addition, the Chicago Federation of Labor led the effort with the Illinois Safe Roads Alliance, a group of labor and business groups actively supporting a capital bill through a $1 million statewide television and radio campaign. 

“Working families in Chicago are grateful for the actions of the House and Senate members who voted for this legislation,” added Gannon.  “Now we eagerly wait for Gov. Quinn to sign the measure and get Illinois working again.”

###

Print