Transit Group: Illinois Road Fund Still Being Raided

May 24, 2012

Taxes on gasoline and fees on license plates are among ways Illinois raises nearly $3 billion a year for road construction and repair. But transit advocates say only a fraction of that is paying for concrete and steamrollers.

The Transportation Funding for Illinois Coalition is raising red flags about the state’s road fund financing as much as $176 million for employee health insurance and $41 million for workers’ compensation coverage.

Lawmakers have stemmed the flow of road fund money to outside sources. But a coalition expert says $500 million was “diverted” to other uses as late as 2011.

Transportation spokesman Guy Tridgell says the coalition’s insurance-cost estimates are inaccurate but the biggest drain on the road fund is escalating costs for employee pensions.

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