January 31, 2014
Legislators convened in Springfield for the second spring session of the 98th Illinois General Assembly on January 28, 2014. This Springfield Update discusses the Governor's State of the State address and CMAP's state legislative agenda and framework.
State of the State
Governor Quinn's address focused on the economy, including recent efforts to improve fiscal stability through spending cuts and Medicaid and pension reforms. Despite these measures, a recent University of Illinois study indicates that the state's annual budget deficit could increase from $1 billion to $14 billion between 2014-25.
Several themes from the address affect GO TO 2040 priorities for infrastructure and human capital. Over the past five years, the state built or repaired over 7,500 miles of road and 1,300 bridges through its Illinois Jobs Now! Program. While the capital program has allowed metropolitan Chicago to make substantial improvements, revenue shortfalls jeopardize its future ability to fund infrastructure projects. The Governor also highlighted business incubators with potential to spur innovation in the Chicago region, including digital-start-up 1871 and the newly announced BioHub, which will focus on medical devices, medical IT, biotech, and pharmaceuticals. Governor Quinn also described the state's ongoing investments in workforce through college scholarships, community college training programs, and college preparatory programs.
CMAP's State Legislative Framework and Agenda
The State of Illinois is key to the successful implementation of GO TO 2040. It allocates nearly $50 billion annually across various program areas and plays a significant role in operating and maintaining the transportation system, promoting economic development, and maintaining and preserving our natural resources. Each year, CMAP shares its agenda of legislative issues with potential regional and statewide impacts with the Governor, legislators, and other state policy makers. This year's priorities include:
- Sustainable funding for comprehensive regional planning
- Steady and reliable capital investments for transportation
- Performance-based transportation funding
- Innovative strategies to manage congestion and to fund capital projects
- Comprehensive reforms to state tax policy
- Water supply planning and management
- Transparency and accountability
CMAP also updated its legislative framework, which guides agency responses to legislation using the principles set forth in GO TO 2040. Contact Gordon Smith to learn more about CMAP's state legislative priorities.