To the Editor:
State Rep. Steven Reick recently wrote an op-ed explaining his vote for infrastructure investment in McHenry County and in Illinois more broadly. I think we all owe him, and his colleagues, Sen. Don DeWitte and Sen. Dan McConchie, a big thank you for their support of this important measure.
As Reick noted in his column, the state hadn’t increased the gas tax to pay for transportation investment since 1990, but costs for construction have increased dramatically since then. That has resulted in a shortage of funds for road and bridge maintenance and repair and for transit maintenance. These funds are protected by the Illinois Constitution and can only be spent on transportation. And, as Reick pointed out, this was a historic vote to provide ongoing, annual funding for transportation investment so Illinois residents don’t experience the boom of bond-funded projects followed by the drop in funding that would have required another tax increase.
Without an efficient transportation system, none of us can travel with the confidence that we will arrive at our destinations safely. Too many potholes and failing bridges stand in the way.
In addition, our economy suffers with businesses moving away and workers unable to hold on to their health insurance and their savings. This vote to support infrastructure is a vote for all Illinois citizens because we will enjoy the benefits on the improvements to come.
This measure will also help provide hundreds of people in companies like ours with continued work in solid middle-class jobs. The indirect effects to local suppliers and vendors will provide continued opportunities for their employees and their families. Simply said, the money raised by this measure will be spent putting people to work right here at home.
President, Curran Contracting Company