'Lockbox Amendment' Could Prevent Sweep of State's Road Funds

Springfield - As financial struggles continue in Illinois, many taxpayers are taking an interest in where their money goes.

For years, taxpayers have wondered why roads aren't being repaired and why bridges aren't being fixed.

"Illinois has swept something like $6.4b dollars out of the road fund since 2003.  Those were dollars that were intended to go to roads, bridges, and rail," said Melissa Hahn, communications director for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier this week, members of the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to include a constitutional amendment on November's ballot.

The 'Lockbox Amendment,' written by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, would make sure that dollars slotted for road repairs, bridge repairs, and railway upkeep would be used for those purposes and would prevent any sort of sweep in funds.

The chamber of commerce says this is the sort of voice in state politics voters have been asking for.

"The 'Lockbox Amendment' would safe-guard those funds.  It would be delivering a promise that we made to taxpayers that those dollars raised for transportation improvements would really go to transportation.  Whether it's companies shipping products out of Illinois, into Illinois, or through Illinois it truly effects everyone," said Hahn.

The measure passed both the House and Senate with unanimous support showing that despite obvious differences between members of the state legislature, bi-partisan work to better the state is possible.

"things might be getting better at the capitol.  We saw bi-partisan support, labor and business coming together.  So, maybe this is a sign that things will get better by the end of the month," Hahn added.