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Quinn: Construction Jobs, Projects In Jeopardy

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Gov. Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Construction projects are in jeopardy and tens of thousands of jobs hang in the balance because state lawmakers failed to approve funding on capital projects, Gov. Pat Quinn said Monday.

The governor is calling lawmakers back to work in Springfield to approve an appropriations bill so the state can spend money on its ongoing capital construction program.

“It’s important our legislature gets the job done,” Quinn said. “The legislature went home. I intend to call them back in special session.

“This is a jobs crisis … an emergency … not time for politics.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel Reports

If lawmakers don’t act, Quinn said, work on projects around the state, including road, bridge and other construction projects, would stop and throw 52,000 people out of work.

“Beginning June 17, we will begin to shut down [the projects] … 52,000 people will be laid off,” Quinn said.

The authority to pay for the projects expires June 30 because the House and Senate did not agree on funding before they adjourned. Senate Democrats added nearly $500 million in extra spending that the House did not approve.

Illinois Department of Transportation chief Gary Hannig said the state will have no authority to write checks after July 1 unless the bill is passed.

Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy called the plea a power play.

“Bottom line is the Senate Democrats wanted to spend more money … and the governor agrees with them,” Murphy said. “As a result, jobs are being jeopardized.”

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