Illinois gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students at a creative workspace for women on October 1, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

(Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Pritzker signs $45 billion state construction bill

To pay for it all, taxes on items such as gasoline and cigarettes will be hiked.

June 28, 2019 - 2:38 pm

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed into law a $45 billion capital spending plan to build and upgrade bridges, roads, schools and parks and pay for it by expanding gambling and make it more expensive to do things like drive and smoke cigarettes.

Pritzker signed the plan called “Rebuild Illinois” on Friday in Springfield. He calls it the “most comprehensive reconstruction effort in this state’s history” that his office says will create 540,000 jobs.

The plan sets aside $33.2 billion for transportation projects, $4.3 billion for state facilities, $3.5 billion for education projects and $1.2 billion for environmental projects.

To pay for it all, state lawmakers passed measures to greatly expand gambling statewide, raise the gas tax by 19 cents per gallon and the cigarette tax by $1 a pack.