Illinois Begins Road Worker Layoffs

July 3, 2017

The men and women who build Illinois roads for a living were sent home Monday or told not to come in at all due to the still unresolved state budget fiasco in Illinois. According to a page devoted to the budget situation, DOT projects remain shut down.

The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois reports about 900 transportation projects totalling $3.3 billion have been shut down. “By-in-large, it’s a statewide construction shutdown. One member told me he asked people to come in, just in case there was a (budget) settlement, but he sent them home. Most asked them to stay home until there’s a resolution,” said Mike Sturino, president and CEO of the Illinois Road and Builders Association.

The State Journal-Register says an email went out on Monday telling IRBA members that even though there have been some reports of the Illinois legislators coming to an agreement on the state's budge that “there is no way to predict whether a budget will finally be adopted this week, or how long the IDOT shutdown caused by the failure to enact a budget will continue.”

The lawmakers narrowly passed a bill that increases income taxes, but Governor Rauner has said he will veto it.

IDOT spokesman Gianna Urgo said in an emailed statement motorists will probably notice the effects of the shutdown on Wednesday, as construction normally shuts down for the Fourth of July travel period.

Even if a budget is approved, Sturino said it would take time for contractors to restart projects.