koehler floor march 16SPRINGFIELD – Students and workers rely on public transportation every day. Senator Dave Koehler (D - Peoria) and his colleagues voted to make sure these people can get to and from work, class and wherever else they need to go.

After months of tension surrounding the issue of Amtrak funding, Governor Rauner entered into a contract to keep AMTRAK operations running across Illinois. This legislation gives him the spending authority to honor this contract.

“I hope that the governor will agree to keep the state moving forward,” said Sen. Koehler. “Many students and workers across the district rely on Amtrak to live their daily lives. This legislation is a crucial step in ensuring this transportation option for years to come.”

The legislation, SB 2059, also contains funding for higher education, as well as social service agencies that have contracts with the state but weren’t covered by continuing appropriations or court orders. Now, the governor will have the power to honor these agreed upon contracts as well.

The legislation is the Senate’s latest effort to pass funds for budget items not yet dealt with during the budget impasse. The legislation is similar to House budget legislation passed earlier this month (HB 2990), but with spending authority for Amtrak and other critical services added.

The legislation now goes to the House of Representative for further action.