Hearing set on bill to end split speeds in Illinois

| Monday, April 26, 2004

Illinois’ House Transportation and Motor Vehicles Committee has scheduled a hearing on a bill to eliminate the split speed limit in the state.

The hearing will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, in Room 114 of the State Capitol building in Springfield. April 27 is the next day the House is in session, but it comes only two days before the deadline for the bill to pass out of committee and move to the full House.

The measure, SB2374, would eliminate provisions in Illinois law that set up a slower, 55 mph speed limit for any vehicle over 8,000 pounds traveling on rural interstates. Other vehicles on those roads can travel 65 mph; all speed limits would remain 55 mph in urban areas.

A similar measure passed both Houses of the General Assembly last year, but was vetoed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Even though it initially passed by more votes than needed to override a veto, an attempt to reverse Blagojevich’s action failed in the House by only two votes.

SB2374 was introduced by state Sen. George Shadid, D-Pekin, and passed the full Senate by a vote of 37-15 on March 4. It was then passed on to the House, where it sat for nearly 20 days before receiving a first reading. It was moved to the Transportation Committee April 20. The bill must pass the full House by May 14 or it is dead for the year.

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