Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Roll The Dice For Transit Funding?

Here an excerpt from a transcript of last night's interview with the Governor. Note the lack of clarity when it comes to operating funding for the service board and the seeming possibility that only the CTA gets an operating funding bailout.

Post any news that you might have in the comments:

There’s been some talk of how the RTA fits into the casino deal, what do you see as the solution of funding for that?

“I think the Chicago casino and a capital construction program create the resources that would be used to be able to fund the CTA as well as ways to be able to help the RTA and do it without raising taxes on people. So this too is a vehicle to be able to address our mass transit needs.”

Just so I’m clear, would there be three sources tapping into gambling—education, capital and RTA?

“CTA.”

((Deputy Gov. Sheila Nix added: “The capital bill would give some capital to CTA and RTA too.”))

Mass transit officials were looking for operating funds, so I’m trying to figure out how you plug that hole without the quarter-cent sales tax—unless you’ve flipped on that?

“No. No. What a question. I don’t want to pass judgment too soon because those were some of the things we talked about in the meeting today. Let me answer the question by saying that funding for the CTA and the RTA is very much part of the discussion for a capital construction infrastructure bill that is being driven by a Chicago casino. And that Chicago casino is a way to address a lot of those issues, including CTA and RTA.”

8 comments:

jackonthebus said...

The governor is probably talking out of both sides of his mouth. The statement could also be interpreted as that the Chicago casino money could go to the CTA, like the Chicago real estate transfer tax money.

More interesting was Bill Cameron's comment on WLS Monday on the 3 p.m. news that when asked about the recall, Blagojevich said he was in favor of it. That statement wasn't included when other parts of the story were repeated at 5.

Anonymous said...

Call Rep Cross at

(217) 782-1331

Let him know that a long-term solution is needed, not a casino bailout!

Anonymous said...

By the way, SB 572 still has life and should be filed today.

jackonthebus said...

Ryan Hermes was just on WLS Radio and said the budget deal didn't have money to bail out Stroger Hospital or the CTA. However, as the previous poster says, SB 572 is a separate bill as far as transit is concerned. Are the reporters becoming all confused or are the issues themselves being confused?

Anonymous said...

again, jack, pay attention. CTA $$ could come from 572 (a different bill from the state budget) or from a chicago casino bill (again a different bill).

HealthyCity said...

But, the PTF fund, along with the downstate transit funds (and probably some other smallish funding) comes out of the General Funds, so SB 572 is related to the overall Budget, isn't it? anon 4:17p, I think jack may be a little correct, right?

Doesn't the State Budget also have to pick-up the Reduced Fares supplement and doesn't that go up as CTA raised its fares, along with not raising its reduced fares? That's not SB 572 money.

Also, the casino money is most likely for transit capital funding, not operations (if it goes to transit at all).

Anonymous said...

The real news is CTA Board action today with minimal cutbacks, modest fare increase and a much reduced ($77 million) deficit. First MBC and now SB572. Both way out of alignment and both now with considerable credibility issues. CTA today bellied up to the bar in a very responsible manner. Hello RTA.

Anonymous said...

Tom Cross has suggested the city portion of casino revenues go to transit operating.