CHICAGO – Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Wednesday that authorizes spending on the $2.7 billion third phase of projects under the state’s ongoing $31 billion capital program.
The measure allows the state to spend the proceeds from recent and upcoming bond sales to finance designated infrastructure improvements.
The state anticipates issuing $2 billion of new debt annually over the next three to four years to wrap up funding for the program known as Illinois Jobs Now. The program relies on total borrowing of between $12 billion and $14 billion. Lawmakers approved a series of new and increased fees and taxes and expanded gaming in 2009 to boost general fund revenues to repay the debt.
Quinn signed the legislation at a ceremony announcing the start of a four-year $475 million Circle Interchange construction project in downtown Chicago. The project calls for rebuilding what many call the most congested interchange in the nation. The project is part of the state’s $12.6 billion six-year transportation plan that is a follow-up to the ongoing $31 billion program.
“The Circle Interchange reconstruction is the state’s biggest and one of our most important construction projects,” Quinn said in a statement. “By making these critical improvements today, we will guarantee the interchange is a safe, efficient and modern transportation hub for generations to come.”