On April 21, TDR attorneys John FitzgeraldGino L. DiVito, Amanda Catalano, and Jonathan Kim won an impressive victory in the Illinois Supreme Court for the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, and a coalition of other associations representing the transportation infrastructure construction and design industry, in litigation to enforce the Safe Roads Amendment to the Illinois Constitution.

The Safe Roads Amendment was passed by an overwhelming majority of Illinois voters in the 2016 General Election. It prohibits the diversion of transportation tax revenues to non-transportation purposes.

The Roadbuilders allege that, in violation of the Safe Roads Amendment, Cook County diverts approximately $250 million annually in revenue collected from transportation-related taxes and fees to purposes other than transportation. Cook County did not deny that those tax revenues are generated from transportation, but claimed that home rule units of government, such as Cook County, are exempt from complying with the Amendment. The Supreme Court rejected that argument and held that “the Amendment, by its plain language, applies to all moneys derived from transportation-related taxes, fees, excises, or license taxes.”

The Supreme Court’s opinion thus confirms that home rule units of government must comply with the Safe Roads Amendment and may not divert transportation tax revenues to purposes other than transportation.

The transportation industry coalition includes the American Council of Engineering Companies (Illinois Chapter), the Associated General Contractors of Illinois, the Chicagoland Associated General Contractors, the Illinois Concrete Pipe Association, the Federation of Women Contractors, the Great Lakes Construction Association, the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association, the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers, the Illinois Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, and the Underground Contractors Association of Illinois. TDR is proud to represent all of them in this historic litigation.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s opinion can be found here.