Buckner in mask

Rep. Kambium Buckner (D-26th)

SPRINGFIELD — The state House Transportation committee advanced a bill by to the House floor on March 1 to make spending by the Illinois Department of Transportation more transparent and accessible to the public in its first meeting of the 102nd General Assembly.

House Bill 253 would establish a new asset management program for IDOT. The bill seeks to ensure that spending decisions for maintenance work and investment choices for new projects are based on objective metrics, and that those metrics be made available on the IDOT website.

According to bill sponsor, Rep. Kambium Buckner (D-26th), who represents South Kenwood west of Woodlawn Avenue and Hyde Park west of Ellis Avenue — the bill would create a needs-based plan for the upkeep of IDOT assets relating to public transportation such as vehicles, facilities and equipment. It would also require IDOT to develop a performance-based model for selecting what projects the department will fund in order to maximize taxpayer investments.

Factors that may be considered include improving traffic, boosting an area’s economy, reducing environmental impact and increasing public safety.

Projects started and funded by the federal government would be exempt from the legislation.

The bill received unanimous support, with the committee’s Republican Spokesperson Michael Marron (104th), of Fithian, praising the consideration given to rural and smaller communities.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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