Durbin, Daley Eye Stimulus Cash

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Feb 9, 2009 9:45PM

2009_02_09_durbin.jpg President Obama takes to the airwaves tonight to pitch the current stimulus plan to the American people but locally lawmakers are eagerly anticipating the possible cash influx. If the $800 billion package passes, Illinois could get a decent-sized chunk of that. According to Sen. Dick Durbin:

If the state faces a $9 billion deficit as Comptroller (Dan) Hynes has indicated, I'm hoping that the stimulus package will infuse some $3 billion into the state, at a time to give the legislature and governor some relief, and I hope that over the next year or two, they can use that relief to put our state back on sound footing.

According to Durbin, $2.5 billion would be for Medicaid and another $1 billion would be for education.

Mayor Daley, meanwhile, is making plans on what he wants to do with the city's cut. While he's been dodgy about what projects he intends to pursue with a little of Uncle Sam's pocket change, today he did outline a little more of what he wants to do. Per the Trib:

Daley said, "I'm announcing some of the projects" that he wants the federal government to fund.

They include:

- repairing 15 miles of "elevated" CTA train tracks;
- repaving 150 miles of main streets;
- replacing street lights;
- weatherizing thousands of homes;
- boosting police funding.

Yes, because while we can't afford more officers, we sure as hell can afford 2,000 new SUVs.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite