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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois Road Projects On Hold For State Budget

"End Construction" by Flickr User Chris Lasher / (CC X 2.0)

The Illinois Department of Transportation plans to spend about 2 billion dollars on road projects for the next fiscal year that starts July 1 -- if there's a budget.

The lack of a deal could kill the construction season. 

That's what business leaders, contractors, laborers and other members of the Transportation for Illinois Coalition say.

Co-chair Todd Maisch, who's also CEO of the state Chamber of Commerce, says no spending on roads this summer would cause construction firms to close, or lay off workers.

He says it's critical to have a budget deal by the end of the month.

"If you have this kind of loss of jobs that we're talking about and the overall investment, then the overall economy gets hurt," Maisch said.

Maisch says even if there is no roadwork, it'll cost Illinois taxpayers -- the state will need to pay to make closed construction projects safe.

He also says Illinois would also lose grant money from the federal government.

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