Rep. Bunting’s Springfield news update for April 19

In this issue:

  • Emissions bill appears stopped for now
  • Deputy sheriff killed, accused perpetrator released due to SAFE-T Act
  • Recycling program for agrichemical containers
  • Move over and slow down!

Emissions bill appears stopped for now

Of all the bills we have heard this spring, the one that I have gotten the most feedback from our district on has been House Bill 1634, a bill to let a board of California regulators make emissions policy for Illinois.

Many residents of our district contacted me in opposition to this idea, which would put onerous restrictions on their trucks and mechanized equipment. The decision to impose these regulations would have come not from the legislature or a board of regulators accountable to the people of Illinois, but instead by a completely unaccountable group of state bureaucrats in California.

I am pleased to report that this bill did not move forward in this spring’s session before the deadline to advance bills. While it is always possible for the language of bills to be added onto other bills later in the session, I am cautiously optimistic that because of the widespread opposition to this very bad idea this bill will not re-appear. But anything can happen in Springfield, so please stay tuned.

Deputy sheriff killed, accused perpetrator released due to SAFE-T Act

Late last month a sheriff’s deputy just north of our district in DeKalb County was killed when a car struck her parked vehicle. We are all saddened for her family and grateful for her service. This is another reminder of how dangerous the jobs of our first responders are, and how important it is for every motorist to proceed with caution when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the roadside.

The deputy’s vehicle was struck by a driver who was tested after the incident and found to be under the influence of drugs. Local authorities charged him with reckless homicide, which is a Class 2 felony, along with three counts of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs. These charges could carry a prison term of anywhere from three to 14 years.

But the driver has been released from custody. The local state’s attorney argued that he would pose a threat to the safety of others in the community and requested that he be held in detention pending trial based on the seriousness of the charges. The judge, however, had to release him, specifically citing the 2021 SAFE-T Act law which abolished cash bail and most pre-trial detention.

This is the latest of a long line of examples of the SAFE-T Act making Illinois less safe. I have supported a series of reforms in Springfield to put the rights of law-abiding Illinois residents ahead of criminals. There is still time for us to act in this spring’s session to restore sanity to our criminal justice system and keep Illinois residents safe. We must do so.

Recycling program for agrichemical containers

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is offering a free recycling program for agrichemical containers. The containers will be collected throughout the state and recycled into shipping pallets.

The program will begin in mid-July and run into August. The director of IDOA says the annual program is a convenient way for farmers and agrichemical facilities to dispose of empty pesticide containers which would otherwise end up in the garbage.

Metal containers and household pesticide containers are not eligible. Temporary collection sites will be established throughout the state, including in Onarga, Chebanse, Saunemin, Lostant, Toluca and other communities in or near our district.

To find out more about the program and the collection sites, click here or call the IDOA toll-free at 1-800-641-3934.

Move over and slow down!

As I have traveled around the district and back and forth to Springfield I have seen a lot more highway work zones popping up. Workers and equipment are very close to roadways where drivers are sometimes moving past them at high speeds.

This National Work Zone Awareness Week, remember to move over and slow down when approaching work zones.

With the summer construction season right around the corner, we all need to drive responsibly to keep construction workers safe!

This is also the time of year when we see more farm vehicles out on the roads as well. Remember to give slow-moving farm equipment plenty of room. Let’s make sure everyone gets home to their families safely!

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 $1,747,211,473. This figure changes daily. Last year at this time the state had $2.8 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

Current estate tax policy burden on family farms

Food prices jumped 25% since 2020. A financial educator in Illinois has tips for cutting costs

Report analyzes Illinois’ oversight of pandemic aid spending by schools

Gibson City native Upton set to become Army’s newest brigadier general

National Guard showcasing Blackhawk helicopter, other military equipment in Morris

Ford County kickoff meeting addresses future natural disasters