- Published: Thursday, December 15, 2016 09:43 AM
State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) and State Representative Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) have been awarded the Friend of the Industry Award by the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association for their work on the Safe Roads Amendment that voters approved in November.
The Friend of the Industry Award is the highest honor bestowed by the IRTBA. It is awarded to individuals whose dedication and accomplishments reflect the professionalism and commitment of the transportation design and construction industry.
"Senator Bill Haine and Representative Brandon Phelps were not only the chief sponsors of the legislation that allowed the Safe Roads Amendment to get on the ballot, but they took it a step further and publicly advocated for the measure," said Mike Sturino, president & CEO of the IRTBA.
The amendment prevents revenues from the state’s road fund from being used for purposes unrelated to transportation. It also creates a lockbox for funds that are dedicated to transportation and prevents a governor from sweeping the road fund for something else.
“I am very honored to receive this award,” said Haine. “This measure has always been about ensuring Illinois has the means to keep its infrastructure functional for years to come. When Illinois has a solid infrastructure, our economy is able to grow, and that is what Illinois needs right now: growth. When we invest these funds into keeping our roads functional, we create jobs employing people who have contracts with the state.”
The Friend of Industry Award is given only upon the recognition by the President and Board of Directors of the Association for truly outstanding achievement.
"The road building industry has not had a higher priority than creating a lockbox for The Road Fund, and these two legislators deserve recognition for their efforts that made that goal a reality," said David Rock, chairman of the IRTBA.
Over the past 10 years, $6 billion has been swept from the road funds leading to insufficient funding to ensure Illinois’ roads are repaired and keep the state’s infrastructure up to date.
“Our highways, roads and bridges are in constant need of repair and Illinoisans know it,” said Phelps. “This amendment is a win-win, and will provide many good paying jobs for hardworking Southern Illinoisans who will keep our roads in good shape for the families who use them.”
The measure, House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 36, more commonly referred to as the Safe Roads Amendment, was overwhelmingly approved by voters in November.