CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. JB Pritzker is ready to put his signature on a windfall of legislation approved by lawmakers over the weekend; including a $40 billion state budget, a $45 billion infrastructure construction plan, a massive expansion of gambling, legalized recreational marijuana and protections for abortion rights.
The capital construction plan is the state’s first infrastructure investment since 2009. Lawmakers worked overtime to approve the plan to improve roads, bridges, mass transit, schools, prisons and other public works projects.
The construction plan will rely on a string of tax and fee increases, and motorists will foot a big part of the bill, including the state’s first gas tax hike since 1990.
Not only will the state’s gas tax doubling from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon, the standard passenger vehicle registration fee will go up from $101 to $151 a year, and the registration fee for electric vehicles will increase from $35 every two years to $248 every year.
Diesel fuel taxes will also go up 5 cents per gallon, and truck registration fees will rise by $100.
The state’s $1.98-per-pack cigarette tax will go up by $1, and the state will impose a new 6 percent daily and 9 percent monthly tax on parking garages and lots.
The construction program also relies on revenue from legalized sports betting and expanding casinos across Illinois; including new casinos in Chicago, Waukegan, south suburban Cook County, Rockford, Danville and Williamson County (southern Illinois), and additional gaming positions at the state’s 10 existing casinos.
Horse race tracks, along with O’Hare and Midway airports also would be allowed to install slot machines. Palatine also would get a new horse track.
Passage of the budget, construction plan, and even recreational marijuana came with bipartisan support.
“Frankly, we all worked together on this. I mean, we did talk. My door was open to everyone standing behind me and everyone who’s not standing behind me,” Pritzker said Sunday night at the state capitol after lawmakers wrapped up session. “I had conversations with people from the moment I took office, even before that, to this moment; across the aisle, in my own party, and the truth is that we changed legislation. We made sure that we were taking into account the views of people all across the spectrum.”
The state budget plan adds $100 million in funding for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and a $1,600 salary increase for state lawmakers.