Governor Vetoes Road Funding

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It's a bumpy ride along West State Street in Rockford. We'd all love a smoother ride around town, but this year it's not looking so good. "It hurts because there were projects planned, i mean, that needed money," Alderman Frank Beach said. Alderman Beach is among many Rockford city leaders hit hard Friday over a Governor's veto on Rockford roads. Blagojevich denied Rockford a chance at collecting it's higher sales tax revenue next month instead of waiting until next year. "I think we all felt and hoped that he wouldn't. It's the people in the community that are hurt with this," Beach said. Back in April, Rockford voters approved a one percent sales tax increase to help fix city streets. Since then, local leaders made several appeals to state legislators to start collecting that money sooner than later and get work going on summer road construction. "We need to put people to work and construction puts people to work and we want to get that done this summer," City Administrator Jim Ryan said. Ryan says the city isn't giving up yet on its efforts to fix city roads because an overide vote is expected next week. "We'll be down there Tuesday in force with our legislative delegation and try and get the override done," Ryan said. So perhaps not all hope is lost for road construction ahead this summer. In a brief message, Blagojevich says sales taxes are regressive and disproportionately impact consumers. And that's why he says he went forward with the veto. It takes a three-fifth majority vote in both chambers of the legislature to override the veto. And if that happens, Rockford could see as much as $8 million in construction work this summer.