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Unions Organize School Bus Tour To Call For Federal Highway Funding

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A school bus that was partly crushed by a section of a crumbling bridge has become the centerpiece of a nationwide push for Congress to pass a comprehensive highway funding bill. (Credit: Wendy Widom/CBS)

A school bus that was partly crushed by a section of a crumbling bridge has become the centerpiece of a nationwide push for Congress to pass a comprehensive highway funding bill. (Credit: Wendy Widom/CBS)

dellimore250 Craig Dellimore
Craig Dellimore, political editor for WBBM, joined the station in 1983...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Union laborers throughout the Midwest have joined the call for passage of a long-term highway bill in Congress; and they said it’s not just about jobs, it’s about safety.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports unionized laborers brought a school bus that had been crushed by a piece crumbling bridge through Chicago on Thursday.

They said a third of traffic fatalities across the state are due to poor road conditions.

“Statistics show that, throughout the country, there’s deaths, fatalities – vehicular fatalities – attributed to poor road conditions,” said Kevin Roach, business manager of Laborers’ Local 41 in Indiana.

WBBM 780’s Craig Dellimore

generic cbs 2 wbbm web Unions Organize School Bus Tour To Call For Federal Highway Funding
WBBM 780/105.9FM

The bus made its way to Munster, Indiana, on Friday. Roach said poor roads cost the state of Indiana $2 billion a year.

“We can’t get the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to act on a comprehensive bill. Everything that they’ve proposed so far is a patch,” he said. “Our position is, I think, is primarily they’re worried about where the funding mechanism comes from.”

The unions suggested raising the federal gas tax, which hasn’t gone up in a while, but such proposals have met with resistance on Capitol Hill.

“It hasn’t been adjusted in 12 years, I think,” he said. “As much as people are against taxes, we think that that’s a good way to fund this,” Roach said.

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