Road infrastructure construction workers across the state were sent home on July 3 — or not called in at all — with the budget-related shutdown of approximately 900 transportation projects totaling $3.3 billion, according to one of the state’s largest contractor associations, the Peoria Journal-Star has reported.
However, it appears that it won’t take long for the Illinois House of Representatives to join the Senate in overriding a governor’s veto, ending the budget stalemate.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) estimates 20,000 workers are affected.
“By-in-large, it’s a statewide construction shutdown. One member told me he asked people to come in, just in case there was a (budget) settlement, but he sent them home. Most asked them to stay home until there’s a resolution,” said Mike Sturino, president and CEO of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association.
GateHouse Media Illinois reported that more than a dozen major transportation projects totaling $284 million are affected in the Springfield area, including the final phase of high-speed rail construction on the Third St. rail corridor in Springfield. Sturino said some work was continuing on projects paid for primarily by federal and local funds.
In an exceptional Fourth of July holiday session, the Democratic-led Senate gave final legislative approval to a $36 billion fiscal 2018 budget and $5 billion tax increase package passed by the House on July 2 and 3.
However, within hours, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the budget and revenue measures. The Senate then quickly overrode the vetoes, moving the final override to enact the bills over the governor’s vetoes to the House.