The Illinois Senate has adopted a resolution sponsored by Senator Bill Brady asking the Illinois Auditor General to take a close look at the state’s Road Fund.
Senate Resolution 788 calls for an audit of the revenues to and expenditures from the Road Fund available to use on road and bridge construction.
“Illinois’ highway system is a critical part of our state’s infrastructure. I am concerned about the lack of Road Fund dollars available for the state’s annual construction program, which was announced April 30. This fund is expected to receive approximately $2.7-$2.8 billion in Fiscal Year 2013 revenues from a variety of sources,” Senator Brady said. “However, funds are being diverted and used for purposes other than road construction and improvement.”
The 44th District Senator said as part of an agreement between the four legislative leaders and the current Administration to pass a capital construction plan, Governor Pat Quinn agreed to put a stop to Road Fund diversions; however, with the introduction of his Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget, the Governor broke that agreement.
After assuring lawmakers that the FY12 diversions were a one-time anomaly to help out with the fiscal crisis, the Administration has again requested diversions – the FY13 IDOT budget includes a total of $49.4 million for two diversions from the Road Fund, Senator Brady said.
The 44th District Senator said the citizens of Illinois deserve to know why the FY13 Road Program is expected to have barely $350 million in Road Funds available for construction projects for the local portion of the program – with no funding expected for the State portion of the program.
“We need some answers about why a fund intended to pay for the construction and maintenance of our state’s roads and bridges will only utilize approximately 12% of its FY13 revenues for new road and bridge construction projects?” Senator Brady said. “Where is this funding going?”
One specific concern is the ongoing overcharge of the Road Fund for State Employee Group Health Insurance (GHI). Charges to the Road Fund for employee GHI appear to be as much as 75% higher than charges to the General Revenue Fund for employee GHI on an average per-employee basis.
The Road Fund accounts for the activities of the State highway programs, including highway maintenance and construction, traffic control and safety, and administration of the State’s motor vehicle laws and regulations. Funding sources for the Road Fund come from federal aid, transfers from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund, and various license and fee charges.