EDWARDS — Gov. JB Pritzker and local lawmakers pledged transparency Thursday on how money in the state capital bill will be spent.
Most of the money in the $45 billion plan will be spent directly by state agencies, particularly the Department of Transportation, Pritzker reminded attendees at a news conference to announce Peoria-area projects. Dollars raised by the state for transportation purposes must be spent on transportation projects under an amendment to the Illinois Constitution approved by voters.
But he also said that many of the projects will have individual costs detailed in the IDOT multi-year transportation plan, a regularly updated document that outlines current and future work on state roads, bridges, rail, airports and other transportation needs.
"You'll be able to see within that plan some of the other projects that are going to be focused on for Peoria and all of the other surrounding counties, so you'll be able to account for all of that," Pritzker said in response to a question at the event.
Smaller amounts of money in the capital bill are also set aside for so-called "member initiatives," or direct spending that legislators can push with leaders in their chamber.
In Peoria's case, several lawmakers here intend to pool that cash.
"There is a plan for us to collectively roll out our packages, because what we did as a legislative team is, we collectively put our money together to be able to make true impact within this region," state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth said.
She described having worked at length during negotiations on the bill with both state Sen. Dave Koehler and state Rep. Ryan Spain.
Gordon-Booth said an event detailing spending area legislators are seeking from the plan is likely to occur by late August or early September.
Some funds Koehler sought, including for construction work at Illinois Central College, at the city's East Bluff Community Center, the Fulton County Jail and Courthouse, and other locations, have already been announced.
Those items were specifically included in the capital bill, but Koehler said under current government accounting rules, other "member initiative" money will have to be specifically appropriated. The next time lawmakers are scheduled to meet when they could pass such detailed, line-item spending would be the fall veto session.