The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

State Lawmakers Near Endgame on RTA Funding

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 1, 2007 5:24PM

2007_11_oldctalogo.jpgAt this point writing about the CTA's "Doomsday scenario" is like beating a dead horse. We know what's at stake if they don't get the funding before Sunday. Our inbox, and those of thousands of Chicago Card holders, are full of messages from Ron Huberman matter-of-factly stating such. All this means that our eyes are on Governor Blagojevich and state lawmakers heading down to Springfield last night to hammer out a possible last-minute solution to the crisis. Forgive us if we sound cynical on the matter, since the governor and House speaker Michael Madigan are still in a staring contest to see who is viewed as the savior of public transportation, and who gets the blame if the CTA's cuts are implemented.

Madigan told CBS 2 that his proposed bill, calling for an increase in gaming, will include a Chicago casino and a new riverboat downstate. Proceeds from the latter will be earmarked for road construction, which should placate downstate lawmakers miffed that they're being called on to bail out the RTA again. Madigan said that he feels confident the bill will pass, which indicates that he also thinks he has the necessary votes to override a Blagojevich veto. Depending on the results of a leaders' meeting scheduled today, it also sets up Madigan as the hero (if there can really be one) in this scenario, showing he's a master of the art of the deal while Blagojevich prefers to put his ego ahead of the citizens of his state.

Image via mklingo on flickr.