The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), passed in November 2021, reauthorizes and increases funding for key transportation programs and federal infrastructure priorities. As everyone awaits the passage of a federal appropriations bill that would officially fund IIJA, the governor’s budget proposal is one of the first indications of how federal funds may be used in Illinois.
The state anticipates receiving $15.8 billion to support multimodal transportation investments over the five-year program, including $9.8 billion for highway development, $1.4 billion for bridge replacement and repairs, $4.0 billion for public transportation improvements, and $616.0 million for airport infrastructure development. Additional funding is expected for electric vehicle charging and fueling infrastructure grants. However, the total federal funding from IIJA that will flow to the state is still being evaluated. Therefore, the governor’s FY23 proposed budget includes placeholder values for anticipated resources and infrastructure investments.
Key authorizations for expending the first year of IIJA funds identified in the proposed FY23 budget include $115.1 million to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) for lead service line replacement loans and planning grants, $100 million to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for broadband expansion efforts, and $30.2 million to the Department of Innovation and Technology in state and local funding for cybersecurity programming to address risks and threats.
Beyond the purview of IIJA, the FY23 budget proposal also demonstrates a continued focus on climate policy in Illinois. In addition to increased funding and staffing goals for the IEPA, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the governor proposes to double the level of funding for IDNR’s Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grants to $56 million, which will help local government agencies acquire and/or develop land for public parks and open space.