Last week we waited with bated breath for a Illinois Supreme Court ruling on the legality of funding vital construction programs with alternative revenue streams such as video poker, license plate fees and the like. Today the state of Illinois collectively exhaled as $31 billion in project funds were giving the green light. Chicago Tribune has the scoop:
The 7-0 ruling allows state lawmakers and the governor to exhale after an appellate court had thrown out the deal earlier this year. You can read the state Supreme Court opinion here.
More than just bricks-and-mortar projects involving schools, roads and sewers were at stake in the ruling by the seven Illinois justices. Also at issue were new and controversial sources of state revenue: Increases in driver’s license and license plate fees, higher taxes on alcohol, candy, soft drinks and beauty products, and the video gambling. All were targeted to cover the cost of construction bonds plus interest.
Read the entire Chicago Tribune piece for the inner workings of the legal battle leading up to today’s decision. More drama is expected in addressing further gambling initiatives in Illinois.