FloorSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) voted in favor of legislation releasing funding for road and bridge maintenance to the local governments thorugout the district on Monday.

The money comes from the city, county and township share of the state gas tax. Last year, the counties that make up the 48th Senate District received more than $30 million for this share of the funds with similar levels of funding expected this year.

“Without this money, governments have been unable to perform basic road maintenance and repair, prepare for winter weather and many workers faced layoffs. This funding is vital for the most basic duties of government, and I’m hopeful that progress can continue,” Manar said.

The gas tax funding is typically awarded automatically but vetoes by the governor this summer froze the money in state accounts.

The road funding was part of a $3.1 billion budget package approved by the Senate that also includes money for 911 emergency systems, domestic violence shelters, emergency services training, GED programs and vocational training.

The legislation also provides money for the Illinois Department of Transportation to buy road salt and perform winter highway maintenance.

It includes $165 million for the state’s assistance to seniors and low-income families to help with winter energy and heating costs. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP, is funded through a combination of state and federal dollars. The federal funding has been going to families but the state’s portion has been held up by the budget impasse.

The legislation also gives local governments their share of gaming revenue and allows the Illinois Lottery to pay winners.

The Senate passed this legislation, Senate Bill 2039, with bipartisan support and the bill will next go to the governor for approval.

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