Senator Bill Brady is asking Illinois Auditor General Bill Holland to audit 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 FY13 revenues from a variety of sources,” Senator Brady said. “However, funds are being diverted and used for purposes other than road construction and improvement. I am asking that the Illinois Auditor General take a close look at the status of the Road Fund as to its revenues and its uses.”
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 financial 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.
“Of particular concern is the fact that the Fiscal Year 2013 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,” Senator Brady said. “It is inconceivable that a fund intended to pay for the construction and maintenance of our state’s roads and bridges will only be able to utilize approximately 12% of its FY13 revenues for new road and bridge construction projects.”
Another 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 44th District Senator also noted that the federal government is investigating Road Fund expenditures for a 2008 Department of Human Services summer jobs program.
The state Executive Inspector General reported April 30 that $3.1 million in road-construction money was used to help fund the $7.8 million program under ousted Governor Rod Blagojevich.