Pritzker lays out projects included in capital bill - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Pritzker lays out projects included in capital bill

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MARION (WSIL) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker promoted a $45 billion plan to repair roads and other infrastructure in Illinois during a tour of southern Illinois.

"There's not any frill in this or pork, so to speak," Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton, said. "I told people I'm not voting for pork, I'm voting for safety and for jobs of southern Illinoisans."

The bill includes millions for repairs and expansions of all the major interstates in southern Illinois, along with several rural highways, the Amtrak line from Carbondale to Chicago, plus money for SIU and John A. Logan College.

MORE: Gov. Pritzker visits southern Illinois

"We're investing $45 billion over six years to repair whats broken and build what's needed," Pritzker said.

It also includes money for the Cairo Port Project.

"80 percent of all inland barge traffic flows by the city of Cairo and the state of Illinois has not been able to benefit from that," Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, said. "It's time that we change that, so I'm looking forward to that opportunity."

Several tax increases help pay for the plan, including a higher gas tax and vehicle registration fees.

Pritzker said all the road repairs will actually help families save money in the long run, despite the taxes.

"Families that are enduring $500 per year of damage to their cars because of the potholes because of the problems on our highways and our roads," Pritzker said.

He also says the bill provides money for towns to do their own work. Sesser mayor Jason Ashmore said he's hoping for help with the town's sewer and water systems.

"We've made tremendous strides in our water and sewer infrastructure, but a lot of it is still from the 1930s so we're still trying to get that updated," Ashmore said.

No one is happy about the taxes, including Severin, but he said they need to happen.

"People in southern Illinois are going to see changes, and they're going to be good changes, we just got to get people to hang with us," Severin said.

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