Business leaders urge temporary budget for highway building

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Business leaders warn that lack of action on an Illinois state budget jeopardizes nearly $2 billion in road and bridge construction this summer.

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition urged the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday to end their dispute and agree on a temporary budget to ensure schools open, government keeps operating — and concrete keeps pouring.

The Illinois Department of Transportation in May announced a $1.8 billion construction plan for the year that begins July 1. More than 80 percent is federal money.

But the state can’t spend it without legislative authorization. Democrats who control the General Assembly are continuing to feud with Republican Rauner over a spending plan.

The coalition says without a temporary budget, valuable construction time — and jobs — will be lost.