The House and Senate both left Springfield today. The House is scheduled to be back on Sunday at 4:00 and the Senate will be back Monday. Next week is the final week of regular session.
The Governor and legislative leaders met Thursday evening for a wide ranging discussion that included capital. The Republican leaders spoke to the press after the meeting and their comments indicate capital discussions are now moving forward as they have in previous years. There are details still to be worked out and the legislature needs to pass a capital plan before May 31 or else find supermajority support for any plan after the session deadline.
I believe the basic structure of a capital plan is coming into place, but the details have yet to be determined and are important. Staff will continue to work over the weekend and we expect the members of the legislative working group and the Governor will meet on Sunday or Monday.
The current outline of the plan indicates that it will be based on sustainable, Constitutionally-protected revenue and be multi-modal.
Early next week is a good time to call your legislator in Springfield and ask him or her to support capital funding for infrastructure. I will send out a reminder on Monday.
The Illinois General Assembly passed SB 24, which mandates freight trains must have a two person crew, this week. It will now go to the Governor's desk. However, the Federal Railroad Association issued yesterday a withdrawal of a Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking that intended to preempt state laws and called for no regulation of the number of people on freight train crews. That
NPRM withdrawal is here
RTA and CTA working cash authorization language has advanced to third reading in the Senate. It was already approved by the House and has not been amended in the Senate, so only needs a floor vote in the Senate to go to the Governor's desk.
Legislation to require the replacement of lead service pipes for drinking water is currently on third reading the Senate. It was amended in the Senate, so will need a concurrence vote in the House if it passes out of the Senate. As a reminder,
the bill requires community water supply owners to
- submit inventories each year until their inventory is complete and then every three years thereafter;
- submit plans to replace lead and galvanized pipe service lines and report on replacement progress;
- replace lead service lines attached to water main lines when the main line is replaced;
- for suppliers with over 3500 metered connections, provide cost of service information.
In addition, a low-income assistance program for water expenses is created and the Illinois Commerce Commission may allow or direct a water utility to establish customer assistance program.
President Trump left the transportation funding discussion with House and Senate Democratic leaders at the White House this week. The discussion was intended to focus on revenue sources for increased infrastructure funding but derailed after the President objected to the Speaker Pelosi's comments earlier in the day saying he was engaged in a "cover up."