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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois transit advocates are proposing a plan to fix the state's deteriorating roads through a new tax that would raise the price at the gas pump, The Associated Press has learned.

   The Transportation for Illinois Coalition says the $800 million dollar a year plan is necessary to get a toehold on needed repairs to roads, bridges and rails.

   The influential group is pushing legislation to replace the current 19 cents per gallon motor fuel tax with a 9.5 percent wholesale tax. It would add about 14 cents to today's price of a gallon of gas.

   Coalition co-chairman Doug Whitley laid out the plan for the AP in advance of making it public.

   The proposal would also increase vehicle licensing fees.

   Bill Fleishli of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association says the fuel tax would hurt business.


   The ballots have been counted and after two days of voting, St. Louis public transportation workers are unanimous in their support for a job action.   

   Ninety percent of the voting membership of Transit Local 788 gave a thumbs up for a strike authorization. Local president Mike Breihan says the International office still needs to sanction the job action. 

  "The largest majority supported the strike," Breihan said.  "So what we do now is send the information up to the International. They make a decision on to sanction the strike or not. And then if that happens we will follow procedures and see what happens."  

   Breihan says the Union will wait to set a strike date until after a mediator issues his report in late June.

   The St. Louis County Council is doing something it seldom does -- reversing itself on a senior housing development already underway in the Oakville area.  

   The move follows an uproar from people who live near the planned 45-unit low-income apartment building in the 6000 block of Telegraph.  

   Last year the council had unanimously approved the development by Ohio-based National Church Residences.  

   Tuesday night, the county council voted 5-2 to send the issue back to the planning commission so that area residents can weigh in on zoning permits issued for the development.  

   Several council members who sided with the residents say they don't expect the zoning to be revoked.

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