At noon today, Gov. Pat Quinn will introduce his proposed budget for FY 2010 that begins on July 1, 2009. The proposed budget for the Illinois Department of Transportation will decrease from $2.39 billion to $2.32 billion. State funds for the Illinois Department of Transportation are being cut but federal funds increased (thanks to the federal stimulus bill). Included in the IDOT cut is a $2 million cut for the Traffic Safety Division (to about $32 million). Gov. Quinn proposes to maintain state support for Amtrak at $28 million a year. He also proposes increases for many downstate public transit agencies but some cuts for Chicago area mass transit.
Quinn proposes to merge the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency into the Department of Natural Resources. This will combine the two largest users of the Transportation Enhancements grant program and may lead to more efficiency and speed in grant announcements.
In addition to the operating budget, Quinn is introducing a capital bill. This includes support for all forms of transportation, as well as new funding for schools and environmental projects. The transit portions of the capital bill will be funded by bonds paid for by increased fees on vehicle transfers. The non-transportation projects will be funded in part by an increased income tax, and the road projects by increased fees on drivers licenses and gas tax revenue.
Active Trans is working with IDOT, new IDNR Director Marc Miller and our elected officials to maximize Illinois' investment in active transportation through the state bills and the federal stimulus funds.