- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers say the state should spend more money to make it safer for children to walk to school.

Springfield Republican Reps. Tim Butler and Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (woh-JISS’-kee hee-MEN’-ehz) and a dozen advocates walked Wednesday from the Capitol to Cathedral School downtown to publicize their plea.

Officials say nearly five Illinois children are hit by cars every day within a block of a school.

Supporters want $5 million more for a government program called Illinois Safe Routes to School.

It has paid nearly $50 million since 2005 for 500 safety projects such as improving street-pavement conditions, adding bike lanes and breaking up gangs that can interfere with children answering the school bell.

Northbrook Democratic state Rep. Elaine Nekritz is the legislation’s sponsor.

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The bill is HB2623.

Online

http://www.ilga.gov.

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