Gov. Rauner’s budget would cut $16M from Amtrak funding

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed state budget would cut $16 million from Illinois’ funding for Amtrak trains that serve downstate areas. Rauner’s proposal would roll the state’s current $42 million Amtrak subsidy back to 2013 levels and cause some reduction in the number of trains running between Chicago and St. Louis and Chicago and Carbondale. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports the Quincy-Chicago link and the seven state-backed trains running to Milwaukee could also be affected. Rauner’s proposal also raises questions about the future of passenger rail service between Chicago and the Quad Cities. That project remains in planning and relies partially on federal funding for construction of a link between the areas. Republican state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington says any reductions should only affect trains or stops that are under-performing.