May 21, 2012
The Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois, Associated General Contractors of Illinois, Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers, Illinois Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association, and the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association are expressing their support for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s efforts to work with the Illinois General Assembly to rescue and stabilize Illinois’ pension and Medicaid systems.
In a press release, the associations together note that recognizing the profound positive impact these needed reforms will have on small and large employers, and the positive benefits it will have to shore up Illinois’ ability to continue to maintain and build its infrastructure, the Illinois infrastructure community urges lawmakers to pass true pension and Medicaid stabilization packages this spring session.
“We strongly support tackling the structural financial problems in the State of Illinois,” said Michael Sturino, president and CEO of the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, in a press release. “The construction industry is confident that the General Assembly will work together with the Governor to ensure that Illinois keeps moving and that transportation jobs are protected.”
According to Quinn, Medicaid and pensions now account for 39 percent of state general revenue spending. This places tremendous pressures upon the rest of the budget. Ratings agencies have repeatedly cited continued inaction on Medicaid and pension reform as potential reasons to downgrade Illinois’ bond rating, which could effectively halt critical capital improvements and road safety projects. If Illinois is expected to maintain a sound bond rating and the ability to maintain the integrity of its roads, bridges, transit, ports, and airports, a real solution to pensions and Medicaid is needed now, the associations purport.