Transportation
11:36 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Illinois Budget Sets Out $12M Increase For Amtrak

One area of state government that's not facing cuts under Illinois's worst-ever budget is its support for passenger rail service.

Gov. Pat Quinn is seeking to increase spending on Amtrak service in the state by $12 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The Bloomington Pantagraph reports  that the 46 percent increase would bring total spending to $38 million for routes from Chicago to St. Louis, Carbondale and Galesburg.

A 2008 federal law requires states to start picking up a larger part of the tab for rail service on routes shorter than 750 miles.

Other states facing higher tabs include New York, Michigan and California.

Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Claffey says the numbers are not final and the amount the state owes could be lower.