Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Capital plan taking shape

By Jamey Dunn
Jack Lavin, Gov. Pat Quinn’s chief operating officer, said today that a negotiated proposal for capital plan revenue sources could be ready by next week.

“Generally the framework for funding is there,” Lavin said. “We hope to have that finalized over the next week or so.”

He said that the legislative leaders and Quinn have been focusing on revenue sources in their discussions and added that spending decisions will take longer to hammer out with the legislature.

According to Lavin, there will be no lump-sum appropriations in the capital bill. He said that Quinn wants spending for projects to be specifically listed as line items. Money would also go directly to existing programs, but those programs have set criteria to meet when deciding how to distribute funds.

Lavin laid out the “framework” for revenue before a House appropriations committee this morning. It includes:

  • Ending the diversion of money from the Road Fund to the general fund.
  • An increase in vehicle registration and licensing fees.
  • An tax increase on wine and spirits. (Beer would be excluded from the increase.)
  • An tax increase on candy.
  • Applying sales tax to some sweetened tea and coffee beverages, as well as health and beauty products.
  • Internet sales of lottery tickets and having a private firm manage the lottery with a focus on appealing to new players.

Lavin said that a proposal to increase the motor fuel tax is not being considered. “It’s currently not part of the discussion,” he said.

He added that the governor’s Office of Management and Budget is still researching that framework to determine if it would raise the money needed for a major capital plan. The size of the overall plan is not yet determined.

No comments: