A package that will allocate special funds totaling more than $3 billion to help communities maintain 911 telephone systems and pay for snow removal was approved by Illinois lawmakers on Wednesday.
Republicans and Democrats voted overwhelming 107-1 for Senate Bill 2039 in hopes to quell angry country officials and mayors whose communities have yet to receive their share of the revenue generated from motor fuel tax. The money finances snow removal and road salt purchases, according to the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier.
The legislation that provides $1 billion to the Illinois State Lottery will head to the Senate, which is expected to be back in session this week. Due to Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democrats who control the General Assembly, failure to agree on a budget the state has been operating without one since the fiscal year ended on June 30. Also, the Illinois State Lottery had to cease payouts to winners of jackpots.
The action on Wednesday comes on the heels of legislative leaders and Rauner meeting for the first time since May, which was the last time they met to discuss the budget stalemate. No progress from the meeting was reported.
Their share of taxes from casinos, along with proceeds from video gambling and motor fuel taxes will be received by cities and counties. The legislation provides $31 million for Illinois to pay for other snow removal efforts in addition to road salt, with $77.1 million going to continued 911 services.
Rauner told reporters after Wednesday vote that he wouldn’t be surprised if it took several more months for an overall budget plan to emerge.