Chicago Jobs Supported by State Capital Plan
Posted on July 15, 2009
A five-year capital program from the State of Illinois will provide the money needed for critical local infrastructure projects. Under the program, Chicago Public Schools will receive $400 million for school construction, the Chicago Transit Authority will receive $900 million and the Chicago Park District will receive $41 million. Money also will be allocated for work on roads and bridges.
“I want to thank (Governor Pat Quinn) and the General Assembly for meeting the challenge of passing a capital program that will create jobs, fix our schools and roads, support mass transit and pump new spending into our economy at the very time that we need it most,” Mayor Richard M. Daley said. “Combined with the federal economic stimulus legislation that has begun to deliver much-needed support to people all across the country, this new state program is a critical step in helping get our economy moving again.”
CPS will use the funding to repair needed infrastructure inside the schools and renovate science labs and sport facilities. The program also will provide for energy efficient windows and doors, as well as other improvements to ensure that schools comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Although the City of Chicago has tried to invest in its public schools, a lack of state funding has damaged any effort to provide adequate accommodations. During the past 14 years, the city has invested more than $5 billion in school construction and repair and built 34 new schools and renovated dozens of others. Another 14 new school buildings are scheduled to open through next year.
Of the funding $300 million will be used for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program to relieve congestion on rails and roads throughout northeastern Illinois. An additional $400 million will be used for for high-speed rail, while $150 million will be used for Amtrak service throughout the state.
“A modern public transportation system is essential to the future of our state, our region and our city,” Daley said. “It is vital to our economic security and to our ability to recruit new businesses and create new jobs. So this support from the state for mass transit is very welcome.”
The Chicago Park District will use its $41 million to build new facilities and energy efficient infrastructure, which will enhance valuable recreational space.