CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - Governor JB Pritzker promises better days ahead because of money that will be raised from his big increase in Illinois’ gasoline tax.
On Monday, Governor Pritzker doled out details of the state's huge new construction program in Chicago -- which will get new commuter rail cars, new train stations and a rebuilt expressway.
“Here in Chicago, we're taking on the Kennedy Expressway. You're seeing over $70 million for 38 bridge deck overlays. And an additional $560 million for reconstruction, auxiliary lane additions and other enhancements to improve safety, speed and access,” Pritzker said.
“Ten years in the making, this capital bill has the potential to be completely transformative of everything we're doing in the city,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
A vast expansion of legalized gambling in Illinois will also provide billions of dollars for construction of affordable house, as well as funds for public schools and universities.
“We're investing $45 billion to repair what's broken and build what's needed,” Pritzker said.
Creating new jobs is a primary focus.
“Fifty percent of all new jobs created in the Chicago metropolitan area, in the last ten years, were within half a mile of mass transit,” said Chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority Board Kirk Dillard.
Since the state's new capital program doesn't pay for everything on the CTA wish list, the mayor was asked if there might be a fare increase coming down the tracks. She wouldn't rule it out, but said it's the last thing she'd like to see.