It took leadership to pass needed capital bill
Some people are now questioning the recent passage of the capital bill and the increase in the gas tax that accompanies its approval. What is missing in these discussions is how desperately poor the condition of the roads, bridges, public transit and public buildings have become due to a lack of funding.
Illinois had been kicking this funding problem down the road for over a decade before we got serious and decided to fix our decrepit infrastructure.
Like many of us in the suburbs, I choose to own a car and drive on our public streets. When I do, as a user of the roadway, I pay for their repair. I do that by paying for a surcharge on each gallon of gas I purchase. Lucky for me, that surcharge on gas hadn't increased since 1990, and I now drive a car that gets much better gas mileage than the one I drove 19 years ago, so I got by on the cheap. Now, however, is the time to pay up.
Am I happy to pay more? No, I am not, but I know it is necessary. I think many of our legislators knew that too.
Unlike the malaise that is going on in Washington, many of our representatives from both sides of the aisle in Springfield chose to work together to pass the capital bill. I know it was a difficult vote, especially for those on the Republican side. In part this happened because state Sen. Dan McConchie showed the leadership and vision needed to pass these bills. His example of working together shows us all what the right direction needs to be to fix not only our roads but so much more.