The Chainlink

I haven't seen this brought up for discussion, but I think it could have significant effect on bicycles, it could prohibit spending gasoline tax money on infrastructures to improve bicyclist.  This is the only constitutional amendment that will appear on the ballot in the November election.

Read about the amendment:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HJRCA&...

The Tribune has taken a stand AGAINST the amendment:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-constituti...

From the state page about the amendment, one of the things it says is "Provides that any additional modes of transportation proposed for State funding shall have dedicated sources of funding."  I'm no lawyer but it sounds to me like that's saying additional funding would need to be provided for alternate (bicycle) forms of transportation.

We take positions on everything else - this may be an issue we need to take a position on.  Opposition should be brought up by the Active Transportation Alliance, and maybe the Mayor's Bicycle Advocacy Council should take a stand against this proposal.

Views: 2604

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It appears that, unless they are considering biking and walking as transportation (which they probably don't), this effectively says "screw you" to funding ped and bike accommodations. I think it's something we should publicize and fight.

-----------------------------------------

From the ILGA link above: 

Synopsis As Introduced

Proposes to amend the Revenue Article of the Illinois Constitution. Adds a new Section concerning highway funds. Provides that no moneys derived from taxes, fees, excises, or license taxes, relating to registration, titles, operation, or use of vehicles or public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports, or motor fuels, including bond proceeds, shall be expended for other than costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation, costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or other forms of transportation, and other statutory highway purposes, including the State or local share to match federal aid highway funds. Limits the costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation to direct program expenses of the Secretary of State, the State Police, and the Department of Transportation related to the enforcement of traffic laws and safety. Provides that the revenues described herein shall not be diverted to any other purpose. Provides that any additional modes of transportation proposed for State funding shall have dedicated sources of funding. Provides that federal funds may be spent for any purposes authorized by federal law.

Good post.  Even a good Trib editorial.  This amendment should be voted down, period.  The politicians of Illinois know no shame, and never have, when it comes to lining their pockets, and those of their relatives and friends, with public funds.  It never ends.  Thanks for the heads up, Bob!

I find this piece especially troubling.

Provides that any additional modes of transportation proposed for State funding shall have dedicated sources of funding.

Not good. 

Lots of commercials on now pushing for a 'yes' vote. It needs a 60% approval to pass.
Early voting cyclists: Vote No.

What IS the position of the Active Transportation Alliance on this issue? For it? Against it? Neutral?

I thought I read it someplace but don't want to post by memory!!!

I'm a member; I'd like to know.

I'll add my +1 that I'd like to hear from others on this proposed amendment. I read the Secretary of State's brochure this weekend (see a copy here) and it isn't clear to me if expenditures are limited to cars/trucks or includes walking and biking.

* I would think that the "betterment" and "safety" of roads would include walking and biking. But we're all familiar with others who believe that roads are only for cars/trucks.

* Does the limitation of "vehicles and transportation" mean both (1) vehicles and (2) transportation. If it's one or the other, then transportation should include walking and biking. If it's both, are bicycles "vehicles" under the statute (I believe that they are).

This is just horribly drafted and so vague and ambiguous that without knowing the intentions behind the amendment I have no idea what it's scope and exclusions are.

(a) ...no moneys ... shall be expended for other than...

(b) costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation, costs for construction, reconstruction, maintenance, repair, and betterment of public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, airports, or other forms of transportation...

(c) the costs of administering laws related to vehicles and transportation shall be limited to...the enforcement of traffic, railroad, and motor carrier laws; the safety of highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports; and the construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation, and administration of highways, under any related provisions of law or any purpose related or incident to, including grade separation of highways and railroad crossings.

In the U.S., gasoline taxes have historically collected about 40% of what has been spent on roads, bridges, tunnels, etc.  So that other 60% would be unrestricted and wouldn't have affected the redirections that occured.

I asked that Active Transportation Alliance for their take on this, and this is the reply I got:

Begin quote----------------------------------------

Hi Bob: Thanks for reaching out. We’ve been supportive of the amendment to date because of its potential to result in more funding for transit, biking and walking. The main goal of the amendment is to end the diversion of transportation revenue in the state budget to non-transportation expenses.

 

That being said, we and other advocates have raised questions about the local impact and have concerns that the language is too road/highway-centric, even if it allows for spending on other modes. We’re in a dialogue with the proponents of the amendment and hope to have those issues addressed soon, at which point we’ll publish our position on our blog.

 

We’re supportive of the general principle but want to be certain it’s being applied the right way. So stay tuned.

 

Kyle

 

Kyle Whitehead

Government Relations Director

Active Transportation Alliance

9 W. Hubbard St., Suite 402

Chicago, IL 60654-6545

Direct line: 312-216-0473

Fax: 312-427-4907

End quote------------------------------------------

My own take on this:  This is the kind of language that does not belong in the constitution.  Illinois already has too many lock-downs in the constitution.  The language on locking in pensions, the language that limits what the public can propose for amendments.  Taxes and spending should be determined by lawmakers, not carved in stone by setting limits in the state constitution on what can and cannot be done.

I'm voting NO on this.

+1

Whatever happened to the sister organization ATA was supposed to set up to address the inherent conflict of interest between its advocacy and government consulting? Shouldn't they be the ones speaking on this? Not ATA. Or did that never get off the ground?

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service