Illinois Senators are poised to approve sending some $2 billion to local governments, money that thus far has been caught in the political fight between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats.
The funding will send 911 fees to the call centers, give municipalities their share of proceeds from video gaming and allow localities to pay for road salt.
President of the Illinois Municipal League Brad Cole says it's lucky that so far it's been a warm winter. "Now most communities could handle it for a little while, but it is serious business to keep the streets clear," he said. "And to make sure that the roadways are safe and passable. And as we get deeper into December and January, we just can't do that off of rubbing nickels together."
The Illinois House approved the measure last week on a bipartisan vote, and Rauner supports it. The state has been without a comprehensive budget since July. Despite that, it's a continuing appropriation in state statute, local governments have continued to receive the bulk forwarded to them from the state -- their share of the income tax -- throughout the stalemate.