Rep. Bunting’s Springfield News Update for July 7

In this issue:

  • SWCD legislation signed into law
  • Illinois looking to lift ban on nuclear energy permits
  • Reminder about Ford County traveling office hours
  • Illinois headlines

Thank you for reading my e-newsletter. For the latest news from state government or to share your ideas and opinions, please visit my legislative website at

SWCD legislation signed into law

Governor Pritzker signed into law my bill to help promote the good works of our local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD).

Senate Bill 2325 will allow an SWCD to request that the Illinois Department of Transportation install a sign related to the district on an existing or new IDOT sign post or pole, as long as the SWCD pays for the reasonable cost of manufacturing the sign. This is a great way to promote the good work that SWCDs do throughout our state.

The bill passed both houses unanimously and was signed into law on Friday.

Legislation would lift ban on nuclear energy permits

This spring I supported Senate Bill 76, legislation to lift the 36-year-old ban on new nuclear energy construction permits. The bill has passed both houses and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Illinois has the most operating nuclear reactors of any state, with 11, even though the state has not permitted new nuclear construction since 1987. The nuclear industry has made numerous technological advancements and safety improvements since that time. More than half of Illinois’ energy generation comes from nuclear power, putting us among the top three states in the nation.

While the demand for electricity continues to rise, a large part of Illinois’ electricity generating capacity is being pulled off the grid with the phasing out of coal plants over the next 20 years. The legislation which passed both houses and is now awaiting action by the Governor would help ensure that Illinois can safely and efficiently produce enough energy to meet our needs. It is important to residents and job creators that we are able to meet our baseload capacity needs for energy.

Construction of nuclear plants will produce low-carbon energy that is not dependent on wind or sunlight, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions – all while creating jobs and giving new businesses an incentive to locate here.

Reminder: Traveling Office Hours in Ford County on Tuesday

I will be hosting traveling office hours in Ford County on Tuesday July 11. This is a good opportunity for me to meet with local residents in your hometown and hear what you have to say.

I will be at Kino’s Coffee, located at 103 N. Market Street in Paxton from 9 a.m. until noon. In the afternoon I will be at the Piper City Village Hall, 133 E. Peoria Street, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. I hope you will stop by and share your thoughts about state government. No RSVP is required but if you have questions, please call my Watseka office at (779) 218-3070.

Be careful on the rural roads

We have finally gotten some much-needed rainfall over the past few weeks. That has caused our area’s corn crop to pick up speed as it grows. Tall corn can sometimes make it hard to see around corners on country roads this time of year. Please remember to take a little extra time at rural intersections – even the uncontrolled intersections – to make sure you have a good line of sight before crossing. Stay safe out there!

Our current bill backlog

When a vendor provides the state with goods and services, they submit the bill to the Illinois Comptroller for payment. The Comptroller processes the paperwork and pays the bill when funds are available in the state’s checking account. Currently the total amount of unpaid bills is $705,537,856. This figure changes daily. Last year at this time the state had $2.1 billion in bills awaiting payment. This only includes bills submitted to the Comptroller for payment, not unfunded debts like the state’s pension liability, which is well over $100 billion.

Illinois headlines

Critics: Illinois graduation rates don’t show full picture

Illinois farmers being impacted by severe drought conditions this summer

Lawmakers see wetlands’ benefits

Keeping your pets safe in summer heat

Illinois ranks among most expensive business states

La Salle County Junior Fair starts next week