Rep. Bunting’s Springfield news update for March 8

In this issue:

  • Moody’s downgrades Illinois’ economic outlook
  • Ready for severe weather
  • Students from Thomas Metcalf School visit Capitol
  • Spring forward!

Moody’s downgrades Illinois’ economic outlook

“Illinois will be a below-average performer in the region and among U.S. states,” according to a report issued by Moody’s Analytics and Economic and Consumer Credit Analytics in a report commissioned by the state of Illinois. The report was requested as a way of evaluating the economic conditions facing the state and its workforce.

The disappointing outlook was the results of downward population growth trends, a stagnant tax base and the increasing burden of public-sector pensions. The report also found employment and income in Illinois was growing at a slower rate than in competitor states. It indicated that even though employment growth had been encouraging during the recovery from the pandemic, in more recent months it has returned to pre-2020 trend.

This report was just the latest to warn Illinois policymakers about the dangers of a future recession, which would have more serious affects on Illinois than some other states because we are already growing so much more slowly. But it is not too late to turn things around if we are willing to focus on creating a better jobs climate and more responsible fiscal policies.

Ready for severe weather

This week is Illinois Severe Weather Preparedness Week. On Monday morning, I traveled to Iroquois County to watch the Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency formally receive their StormReady accreditation from the National Weather Service. They are the 39th county in Illinois to receive this prestigious award.

The StormReady areas are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education and awareness. No community is storm proof, but StormReady can help communities save lives.

Congratulations to EMA Director Scott Anderson and Iroquois County!

Students from Thomas Metcalf School visit Capitol

We had a very special school group visit the Capitol in Springfield on Tuesday when 87 of the seventh and eighth grade students from Thomas Metcalf School came to town. While they may be located out of the 106th district, my daughter Sammi was a part of the tour.

Please let our office know if your school is planning a visit to the capital city, especially during the spring months when the House is frequently in session. We love for the students to come tour the Capitol and watch session.

Spring forward!

With the arrival of spring comes warmer weather, outdoor sports and daylight savings time! Remember to set your clocks one hour ahead on Saturday night because daylight savings time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Fire safety officials also remind everyone to check their smoke detector batteries at the same time that you adjust your clocks each spring and again in the fall.

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 $1,930,284,736. This figure changes daily. Last year at this time the state had $2.4 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

PBL’s Didier “honored and humbled” to be named middle school principal of the year

State Fair announces Motley Crue as third headliner for 2024 Grandstand lineup

Department of Corrections hiring events coming up in Normal, Pontiac and Ottawa

Health care field student scholarships available

All about Illinois exports