Some Illinois lawmakers say the key to transportation funding is improving public awareness. That was the message from a panel speaking at the annual I-CAT Transportation Conference in East Peoria. State Senator Karen McConnaughay says getting more input from chambers of commerce, residents and businesses could make transportation funding more efficient than approving a multi-year capital bill:
"Going from, essentially, agreeing to spend X amount of dollars over a period of time, to really look at how do we fund it for the long term. To make it sustainable, so we don't have to come back every three years and have a brand new conversation about, well, now how are we going to pay for our infrastructure."
It's unlikely that lawmakers will pass a capital construction bill this year. Others say a combination of tax increases, user fees and private investment could also help make transportation funding more sustainable in the long-run. More than 500 engineers and other transportation leaders attended this year's conference.
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