Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Illinois Jobs Now, Just Not In Chicago’s Suburbs

Proportionality and fairness has never been a big part of Illinois politics, and yesterday’s joint press conference by Governor Quinn and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to announce $1.6 billion in new state borrowing to leverage federal highway dollars for job creation in the state is no exception. Though the state’s population is heavily concentrated in Chicago and its nearby suburbs, the City of Chicago is getting only 5.8% of the money, and the collar county suburbs are getting about 12.8% of the major projects, according to the list released by IDOT at the press conference.

Why the Chicago metropolitan area, with over 28% of the state’s population, is getting only 18.6% of the money and the jobs remains a mystery. Why the mostly Democratic City of Chicago, with 21% of the population, is getting only 5.8% of the jobs and the money doled out by Democratic Governor Quinn’s administration remains an even deeper, darker mystery. Maybe once the construction contracts are let, the fog will clear and a check of campaign donor lists will reveal the truth about all this government largesse.

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