Don't Hold Your Breath
By Kevin Robinson in News on Jan 8, 2008 4:25PM
In the ongoing saga of the demise of the CTA, Rod Blagojevich hinted yesterday that if the General Assembly sent him a transit bill that included a sales tax increase, he wouldn't veto it. Blagojevich has vowed since the beginning of the budget debacle to veto any sale tax increase to fund mass transit.
In remarks to the media at a press conference yesterday, Blagojevich said that if "the legislature believes in that (sales tax) bill, they ought to pass that bill and give me a chance to improve it.” When asked what he would do to improve a sales tax that he has, thus far, been opposed to, Governor Press Release played coy. “There are a lot of creative things you could with the ability to rewrite legislation and I’ll leave it at that,” he responded. This isn't the first time Blagojevich has offered to use his magic pen to solve the state's money woes. Late last summer, the governor vetoed nearly $500 million in spending to finance his statewide healthcare plan.
Anticipating the governor's distaste for higher taxes, however, the legislature is already working on a transit bill that would divert about $385 million from gasoline taxes collected in Cook and the five collar counties. While it's unclear if a transit fix could come without legislators agreeing on a capital infrastructure spending bill, Senate President Emil Jones has promised to call a vote on any transit bill that makes it out of the House.
Image via thirdrail