U.S. Rep. Bustos pushes for state budget for highway spending

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.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, who was instrumental in getting a new, long-term highway bill through Congress, is urging Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to work with the General Assembly to get a budget so the state can start using federal money to improve its roads.

In a letter to the governor, Bustos, an East Moline Democrat, said the $7.5 billion earmarked in the federal bill for Illinois, will go far in meeting many infrastructure needs in the state, if a budget agreement is in place.

Bustos is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which passed the five-year highway funding bill onto the House and Senate, both of which approved it. It is the first multi-year highway bill in a decade.

“I worked hard to pass a long-term highway funding bill so we can get Illinoisans back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges,” Bustus said. “The federal government has taken action and now it’s up to Springfield to work with us so we can move ahead with job-creating infrastructure priorities such as the I-74 bridge, the expansion of US-20 and the expansion of US-24 in Fulton County. By making long-term investments in our infrastructure, we’ll create jobs and spur new economic development opportunities that will strengthen working families.”

Below is a copy of Congresswoman Bustos’ letter to Gov. Rauner.

Dear Governor Rauner:


For too long, Washington has relied on short-term deals to fund the rebuilding of our roads and bridges. The uncertainty created by this kind of short-term thinking can't be understated and there's no doubt that this has made it much more difficult for states like Illinois to invest in major infrastructure projects. However, after working in Congress to pass the first long-term highway bill in a decade, that excuse no longer works and now is the time to start thinking big for the future of our state.


As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, I have worked hard to make this meaningful investment in our roads, bridges and other transportation projects. We know that investments in our infrastructure will not only create jobs now, but will lead to more efficient movement of our goods and greater economic development opportunities in the future. By passing this bipartisan five-year highway funding bill, we have done our part to deliver the funds needed to grow Illinois' economy and now working families need the State to do its part. That's why I strongly encourage you to work with the General Assembly to provide a budget agreement that takes full advantage of these federal dollars so we can move ahead and start building a 21st century infrastructure that works for working families across Illinois.


After meeting with business leaders, elected officials and hard working families in communities across central and western Illinois, I am writing today to reiterate some of my top infrastructure priorities for funding in the 17th Congressional District:



Thank you for taking these transportation recommendations into consideration. I look forward to working with you to fund transportation projects that reflect the needs and realities of those in my district and across the country.




Cheri Bustos

Member of Congress

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).