Rep. Bunting’s Springfield news update for April 5

In this issue:

  • Legislative surveys coming soon
  • Illinois is the least tax-friendly state in the country
  • Ethics reform bill does not advance
  • National Public Health Week

Legislative surveys coming soon

Keep an eye on your mailbox in the coming days, as my 2024 Legislative Survey will be arriving soon.

This is another way for me to find out what is on the minds of the people of the 106th District. There is even a section for you to add any comments or questions which might not have been included on the survey.

You can fill out and return the survey via U.S. Mail to my district office, or you can take the survey online on my website at

Illinois is the least tax-friendly state in the country

It isn’t exactly news to say that taxes are too high. In fact, Illinois has some of the highest taxes in the country. Now a study from a consumer finance website called MoneyGeek has found that Illinois is the least tax-friendly state in the entire United States.

The study found that an average Illinois family pays 13% of their income in taxes to their state and local governments. The study did not include federal taxes, since those rates are the same across state lines.

Once again we find ourselves ranked along with New Jersey in being the worst when it comes to taxes. Illinois and New Jersey have often traded places at the top of the list for states with the highest property taxes, and that was a key factor in our dead-last ranking in this study. These high taxes make it harder to start a business or to keep a business running. They chase jobs and opportunities out of Illinois and into neighboring states like Indiana which was rated much higher on the list.

This problem can be fixed, we just have to be willing to get our spending under control and stop looking for new ways to raise taxes year after year.

Ethics reform bill does not advance

This week is the deadline for House bills to advance out of House committees if they have any chance of moving forward this year. More than 400 bills made it out of committee this year, though there was a steep partisan difference: only about 12% of the bills which were allowed to advance had Republican sponsors. Few Republican bills even got a hearing, much less a vote. I am sorry to report that ethics reform was not among the bills which moved before the deadline.

House Republicans introduced House Bill 4119 this year as part of a larger ethics reform package. It would prohibit politicians from using campaign funds to pay their legal expenses, a practice which has come under more scrutiny as the indicted former House Speaker, Mike Madigan, has been spending millions in campaign funds to pay for the lawyers defending him in his upcoming corruption trial.

It is disappointing that we cannot get a majority to support our ethics reform proposals, even with the national embarrassment that Illinois has suffered from multiple high-profile corruption cases. Other bills, such as a ban on legislators working on the side as lobbyists, also could not get out of committee.

Illinois going to have to get serious about cleaning the corruption out of state government if we are ever going to earn the confidence of the people again. This session’s inaction is a big step in the wrong direction.

This is National Public Health Week

This week is National Public Health Week and recognize the importance of Public Health! This year’s theme, “Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving: We Are All Public Health,” reminds us that we are all responsible for improving public health in our communities.

Public Health is more than just health care. It’s making sure our food and water are safe to eat and drink. It’s also the relationships we foster in our communities. We’re all interconnected. When we all come together to support public health, all of us — individuals, families, communities and the public health field can achieve the goals of public health.

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 $1,584,908,545. This figure changes daily. Last year at this time the state had $3.2 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

Driving Agriculture Forward scholarships still available

Inside Boeing’s new Illinois plant making pilotless jets

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: How to Recognize the Signs

IDOT warns of heavy traffic across Illinois for total solar eclipse

Tomb of the Unknown replica to come to Bloomington as part of DAR convention