Many Illinois contractors, including asphalt companies, engineers, carpenters, excavators, and even labor unions, are hoping Illinois residents get out and vote to approve the Safe Roads Amendment this November. If the proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution passes, all money collected through fuel taxes, highway tolls, driver’s license fees, and vehicle registration stickers would be placed into a fund that could only be used for transportation-related costs in Illinois. Specifically, the amendment would only allow such state funds to be earmarked for use in road construction, enforcement of traffic laws, mass transit repairs and improvements, and “other statutory highway purposes.”
Historically, Illinois has drawn from its road fund to help address the state’s multiple financial issues instead of using it for the repair or betterment of roads. Illinois residents, however, appear at odds over whether to vote for its passage. Opponents of the amendment seem primarily concerned with preventing the state from accessing the funds for other uses, even in the most dire emergencies or circumstances; others are strongly against the anticipated windfall for unions. Proponents, on the other hand, support the amendment’s passage as a means of investing in the state’s infrastructure.
If the amendment passes, contractors and unions across Illinois—especially those who focus primarily on transit and roadwork—will certainly reap the benefits in what will essentially be guaranteed funding for roadway construction work throughout the state.