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Illinois official's letter, not law, key to road work

The law allows a diversion of $176 million — a significant dent in a five-year road plan. (The Trucker file photo)

The Associated Press

2/8/2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration says a cabinet member's pledge is the key to making a road-construction boost work this spring.

Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider's letter to a top Senate Democrat promises not to divert as much money from road building as a state law Quinn signed Thursday directs.

The $1.5 billion supplemental appropriation includes a $675 million addition of highway and bridge construction this spring.

The plan depends on taking $125 million from the road fund to pay for state employee health insurance. The law allows a diversion of $176 million — a significant dent in a five-year road plan.

Schneider's letter promises to spend only the $125 million for health care.

Senate Republicans complained the bill is flawed and rushed through.