Lame Duck Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel now pushes a higher state gas tax

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and a group of suburban leaders on Tuesday called for a 20- to 30-cent-per-gallon increase in the state’s gas tax to fund a major statewide transportation bill.

Emanuel spearheaded the push during a city hall news conference in which he was joined by a handful of suburban mayors and regional planners. The mayor’s office also released a list of 26 suburban mayors and village presidents who supported the tax increase.

“We are facing a historic moment, and I stand with a group of bipartisan mayors on behalf of a new transportation bill that should happen in Springfield,” Emanuel said alongside the mayors of Park Forest, Hazel Crest, Oswego, Fox River Grove, Joliet, Batavia, Broadview and Ford Heights.

“Our state can’t wait any longer,” Emanuel continued. “Over the last four years, we’ve been stuck in neutral and the states in the surrounding area — Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa just to name a few — have passed transportation bills with gas tax increases.” The mayor noted all of the states were controlled by Republican governors and legislatures at the time of the tax increases.