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dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;">A Chicago state Senator suggested excluding areas of the state from getting funding through a planned infrastructure bill if elected officials from those areas don’t support increasing motor fuel taxes to pay for the capital improvements, a call a downstate representative said exemplifies Illinois politics
Talking about funding infrastructure upgrades with a tax increase, Democratic state Sen. Martin Sandoval suggested cutting out areas of the state where lawmakers don’t support the idea.
“Maybe we can put a line in the capital bill where we bypass … Louisville, because that’s how he really feels about it,” Sandoval said, noting a state Representative from Louisville put his number online for constituents to call to complain about proposed tax increases.
State Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Louisville, said he posted phone numbers of some lawmakers' offices online to encourage constituents to oppose a progressive income tax, but said he never put Sandoval’s number anywhere.
“To suggest that any representative or senator that doesn’t vote for this that their district would be bypassed, these people are paying the same taxes, I mean it’s ridiculous,” Bailey said. “This is Springfield politics. This exemplifies Illinois politics.”
Bailey said his constituents are fed up with the suggestion of higher taxes without reforms.
Sandoval said a capital bill worth more than $30 billion is coming together to fund road and bridge repairs, and vertical construction for things like public buildings. To pay for it he is also pushing for a gas tax increase.
Asked if there should be an effort to shore up costs through other means, he said there should be, but “even with all the efficiencies known to mankind, we’re not going to even come close.”
He said options such as public-private partnerships, or changing how the state buys things to save on costs along with other ideas should “absolutely” be part of the package this year.
State Sen. Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles, said lawmakers continue to discuss how to fund the infrastructure plan. He said all the different tax and fee increase proposals are on the table.
The two were joined by state Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, the officials from Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and a research group highlighting to cost to drivers’ vehicles from having to drive on roads that are in poor condition.