Illinoisans will see one constitutional amendment on the ballot in November. The road fund constitutional amendment passed both chambers after making it through the Senate Thursday.
The so-called lockbox amendment, if approved by voters, would block lawmakers from using transportation-related funds for anything other than its purpose, thereby preventing the monies from being used to help balance the state budget.
State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg), who sponsored the amendment in the House, said it is needed as a way to ensure that infrastructure needs are met.
“It’s important to have this lockbox amendment in place because it will leave more money in the transportation infrastructure, which will create more jobs,” said Phelps.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is also applauding the amendment’s passage.
“The Illinois Chamber of Commerce applauds the unanimous Senate vote today for putting the Lockbox Amendment–an Illinois Chamber initiative–on the November ballot. This constitutional amendment, HJRCA 36, will protect monies collected for transportation infrastructure, and ensure that they are only spent on road, rail and bridge projects,” said the Illinois Chamber’s President and CEO Todd Maisch. “Since 2003, more than $6.4 billion has been swept from the state’s Road Fund, and this Lockbox Amendment can stop that.
“This is, of course, not the last step. Together with lawmakers, the Illinois Chamber will spend the next six months explaining to local Chambers, business owners, laborers and taxpayers that the amendment will honor the promise that infrastructure projects will be sole beneficiary of the Road Fund. This will lead to a better transportation network, more jobs, and a growing economy.”