Rep. Bunting’s Springfield news update for March 1

In this issue:

  • Governor’s tax hikes are sticking point in budget
  • Speaking to Farm Bureau class
  • Meeting with local officials
  • Teaching Civics in Watseka

Governor’s tax hikes are sticking point in budget

The budget proposal which Governor Pritzker delivered last week called for nearly $1 billion in new taxes on Illinois residents and businesses. These tax hikes would be used to help pay for the additional spending in his $52.7 billion budget proposal – the largest in state history. The tax hikes include the continuation of an inflation-ignoring cap that has decoupled the income tax standard deduction which nearly all Illinois taxpayers use. If enacted, this decoupling will take about $93 million out of the pockets of Illinois taxpayers.

Another tax hike in the budget concerns the amount of net operating losses which businesses will be able to deduct on their taxes. The Governor’s proposal is estimated to increase the income tax liability of Illinois businesses by $526 million next year. There is also an increase on the tax rate on sports wagering from 15% to 35%, which amounts to another $200 million tax increase.

These tax hikes will be imposed on top of the ongoing increases in local property tax bills. Illinois is already ranked among the 10-worst states in the country when it comes to overall tax burdens. Instead of raising taxes to allow for even more spending, we should put together a budget with no tax increases and get our spending under control.

Speaking to Farm Bureau class

While I was in Springfield last week, I had the pleasure to speak with the Illinois Farm Bureau ALOT class!

This is an amazing leadership program for those who want to enhance their leadership abilities and agriculture’s voice in Illinois. Thank you for the incredible opportunity to meet with you all!

Are you coming to Springfield during the next few months? Please let me know when you or your group are going to be in the capital city. It is always great to see 106th District residents visiting the Capitol.

Meeting with local government leaders

We are trying to get in as many advisory committee meetings before the House is in session every week.

A few days ago we met with local government officials including Village Presidents, Mayors, Administrators, and County Board Chairmen. We discussed different pieces of legislation such as House Bill 1634, which deals with emissions on diesels; House Bill 3908, the Firefighter Paid Family Leave Act; House Bill 4422 having to do with local control of solar and wind projects; House Bill 4423, the Back the Badge bill; as well as other issues like police staffing, FOIA requests, economic development and upcoming projects.

It was a full agenda! Lots of great conversations and I was given several bills to look into further. I am very thankful that these folks gave up their time to come!

Teaching civics in Watseka

One of my favorite aspects of being a State Representative is that I get to educate constituents of all ages. On Monday, I was able to teach two Civics classes at Watseka High School, Iroquois County CUSD 9 – Watseka School District.

Thank you to Amy Bandur for reaching out and giving me the opportunity to meet with these Juniors and Seniors. They all have bright futures ahead!

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 $1,298,664,194. This figure changes daily. Last year at this time the state had $1.8 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

House Republicans working to keep radical California emission standards out of Illinois

Deadly crashes increased last year in Illinois, says IDOT

Coyotes will be more active over the next few weeks – how you can avoid them

McLean County corn and soybean production top state in 2023

Blood drive set in March for Beaverville/Martinton area

Illinois State Police will conduct distracted driving patrols