NAPERVILLE - Even among conservatives, there's a difference of opinion on whether or not Illinois voters should support amending the State Constitution to require all transportation funds be limited to use only for the state's infrastructure updates and repairs - a position benefitting construction companies and unions hold.
The Americans for Prosperity Executive Director David From wrote in the News-Gazette back in August that he supports the Constitutional amendment, in contrast to Illinois Review's ("Is forcing a Constitutional amendment to fund safe roads the answer?") position.
I wholeheartedly agree with the frustrations voiced in the Aug. 17 editorial "More Nonsense from the Legislature" but disagree that the Safe Roads Amendment doesn't make sense.
The frustrations with the General Assembly are exactly why Safe Roads makes a lot of sense for taxpayers. As the leader of a group that advocates for taxpayers, we support this amendment as a good step in protecting taxpayers from the chronic overspending of our politicians.
Nearly $7 billion earmarked for transportation was swept out of the state's Road Fund over the past dozen years and used for non-transportation spending.
This practice breaks a trust with taxpayers who believe these fees and gas taxes are, at the least, being used for what politicians said they would be used for — maintaining our transportation infrastructure.
These dollars swept from road spending have contributed to our crumbling transportation infrastructure, threatening a key driver of Illinois' economy.
We can see the painful results of a government that spends too much — eventually, its most important priorities, including infrastructure, are left behind.
Taxpayers deserve certainty that the taxes and fees they pay for transportation projects actually go to transportation priorities.
Too many times, we've trusted our elected officials to spend taxpayer funds as they promised, only to be let down.
The Safe Roads Amendment will hold lawmakers accountable for once and give taxpayers an assurance that the gas taxes they pay are actually being spent on the transportation priorities.
DAVID W. FROM is Illinois State Director of Americans for Prosperity, in Naperville