The Illinois Dept. of Transportation (IDOT) has issued official stop-work notices to state construction and consulting firms for hundreds of active contracts, as the state prepares to shut down work on all projects, effective June 30, due to no state budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
IDOT released a statement on June 14 warning of the drastic measures, with the agency set to lose its ability to pay contractors starting July 1.
If the deadline passes with no budget, it will be the third straight year that Illinois has not had a state budget.
The general assembly, led by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who controls much of the legislative agenda, has blamed Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) for "holding the budget hostage to his agenda."
Rauner, however, blames the state general assembly's majority Democrats for a "complete dereliction of duty by the majority in the general assembly.”
He has said that, in any budget deal, there should be no tax hikes without a property tax freeze and local control of those levies. If bond rating companies further downgrade the state's bond ratings, Illinois could be the first state since at least 1970 to lose investment-grade status.
Notices sent to contractors and engineers included information on proper shutdown procedures required to be made in preparation for the shutdown. These include safety and traffic control procedures, erosion and sediment controls, environmental stabilization, relocation of idled equipment, and removal of all construction debris. The work stoppage also includes all phases of consultant contracts.
"The impacts of a shutdown are dire," said Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA) President & CEO Mike Sturino. "According to the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, the daily costs of a shutdown exceed $3 million just for direct costs associated with shutting a job down. IRTBA member firms report that layoffs of thousands of Chicago area residents are imminent. Organized labor is reporting approximately 30,000 people will be out of work statewide if this shutdown happens."
Last year, a shutdown was avoided when lawmakers passed a compromise funding bill on the last day of the fiscal year.
Rauner has called lawmakers back to the state capital Springfield for a 10-day special session, beginning June 21.