Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Deal a' Cookin?

The Chicago Tribune reports that a state budget deal may be in the works. I hear from reputable sources that the transit funding package contained in SB 572 is likely to pass the General Assembly and may even get enough votes to allow an override of a veto.

Representative John Fritchey reports that the General Assembly may only authorize the Chicago City Council to approve a real estate transfer tax to be used for transit purposes instead of imposing the tax directly. If that is the case, then maybe the City Council should return the favor by enacting the tax but directing that all of the proceeds go to the CTA. The CTA currently is slated for a 60 percent share contemplated of the new revenue under SB 572. Getting all of the real estate transfer tax would be a nice bump up, although it is likely that the RTA would jigger things so the CTA's net share of new operating money is capped at 60 percent.

I've also heard that transit is in line for a substantial share of a new capital funding package. The massive five-year multi-billion dollar per year capital plan proposal that was part of the Moving Beyond Congestion package has gotten little attention in recent months. Increased capital funding is, however, key to revitalizing the region's public transit system.

Maybe you are noticing that transit funding advocates are walking around these days with a new spring in their steps. Is the champagne on chill at RTA headquarters? Or maybe this is all just sunstroke and wishful thinking.

2 comments:

jackonthebus said...

"and may even get enough votes to allow an override of a veto"

As previously noted, it will have to just to be effective before June 1, 2008. Thus, the statement is meaningless, unless there are some legislators who would vote for it, but then would not vote to override a veto. Chickens.

Also, as previously noted, is it without meaningful reform, either because of weak language or a weak RTA? Did you sources say that they read and responded to that post?

HealthyCity said...

Moderator said, "I've also heard that transit is in line for a substantial share of a new capital funding package."

Oh? Please, do tell more. What have you heard?