July 14, 2009

31 billion dollars of funds on the wall

After weeks of bickering and delays, Governor Quinn signed a $31 billion capital spending bill yesterday in a bid to create jobs and rebuild Illinois's crumbling infrastructure. Included in the bill is $2.7 billion in state transportation funding, including $900 million for the cash-strapped CTA. This sounds like a lot of money, but it's devastatingly small in terms of what was requested: The RTA had been shooting for a $10-billion five-year allocation. So no Gold Line.On the U of C front, Argonne National Laboratory raked in some funding, with the Sun-Times reporting that the lab will get "$7 million for Argonne National Laboratories for an advanced protein crystallization facility." (This means absolutely nothing to me, but it sounds neat.)And meanwhile, back in my home state of California, we're issuing IOUs that are even more useless this week than they were last. Sigh.