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Looking for pension answers in transportation announcement

URBANA -- Governor Pat Quinn stopped by the area to announce millions of dollars worth of new funding as part of a program to fix roads and bring news jobs to the area.
URBANA -- Governor Pat Quinn stopped by the area to announce millions of dollars worth of new funding as part of a program to fix roads and bring news jobs to the area. But, not everyone in the crowd was excited with his announcement. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has more.

Many people there say he should be focusing on fixing pensions. When Governor Quinn opened it up for questions, most were aimed at the pension problem, but money for transportation projects is a whole other issue.

The governor says this program could help people find new jobs. Usually, when people hit the road, it's because they've given up, But Governor Quinn says that's exactly what our state needs to do to get out of an economic slump.

"We've never invested so much money in transportation as we have in the last four years."

He announced about $6.5 million worth of funding for East Central Illinois. Money that can not only smooth out streets, but also add jobs.

"It puts men and women to work on the roads. That's very important for our economy, but it's also very important for our growth in the future that we have a strong transportation system."

But, some people came to see the governor for a completely different reason.

"I'm becoming a little more concerned because I counted on my pension to help me through my life and get me the opportunity to open the door for someone else."

Governor Quinn told them the committee was working on a plan for next week's veto session.

"I'm not taking a paycheck until this pension reform is accomplished."

Mayors from around Central Illinois say they appreciate state projects which can help their communities.

"We're hopeful. That's about 2,000 construction jobs and 150 - 175 full-time permanent jobs, so it's really big for our area."

An area which could still use the help on the roads and elsewhere. Tuscola's mayor was talking about a fertilizing manufacturing facility planned for just west of town. That's another area the state's trying to help.

Douglas County leaders got more than a quarter million dollars to split with this latest round of funding. Champaign County got the biggest chunk of change from the program; more than $1.3 million.

Macon County cities and townships will split more than $900,000. More than $700,000 was given to Vermilion County. The smallest award was given to the Village of Foosland; $391.
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