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Springfield, June 28, 2019 – In another bill signing ceremony on a massive piece of legislation, Gov Pritzker today was joined by Sen Dick Durbin and members of the legislature to sign into law two bills that have the potential to literally alter the landscape of Illinois for decades to come.
The Governor signed a $45 Billion Capital Bill — the largest in the state’s history, that will spend over six years funds in every corner of the state, with the Governor noting the majority will be spend downstate, with the massive array of roads and bridges crisscrossing the state.
In Sangamon County alone, which houses the State Capitol and where the bill was signed, over $1 Billion dollars will be spend on a host of projects, from a new library at the University of Illinois-Springfield, to a project that will move Amtrak trains away from the center part of Springfield to the 10th street corridor. In fact it’s that project that determined the selection of the site for holding the bill signing ceremony, alongside the very railway that took Lincoln from Springfield to Washington following his election as President.
The Governor also signed a bill expanding gaming, or gambling, in Illinois that will see six new casinos being located around the state. One location is at the winery of Walkers’ Bluff, where the Governor will visit on Tuesday to hold another ceremony. For the people of Carterville, where Walkers’ Bluff winery is located, it will likely make a massive change to the regional economy. The winery is now planning a year-round waterpark and 300+ hotel and conference center, built with private funds. But the owner of the property says she couldn’t commit to those projects without a gaming license to attract conventions and conferences. She told the Illinois Channel when we did a story there in 2017, that the previous year they had to turn away over $2 million in business because they couldn’t offer gaming to the conventions. The speakers at today’s signing ceremony were near giddy with the delight of projects now being funded.
Yet those Capital funds will come at a cost with higher taxes and fees on a host of things, including a doubling of the state’s gas tax from 19 cents/gallon to 38 cents. Those go into effect on July 1, the start of the state’s new fiscal year. Politics, Personalities, Policies and business developments! Stay in touch with one of the most politically active, and important states in the USA! Follow us on Twitter: @IllinoisChannel website: IllinoisChannel.org