Rep. Bunting’s Springfield news update for May 3

In this issue:

  • Surprise election law rewrite rammed through
  • Bill passes to address child care shortage
  • State Police warn of phone scam
  • Tour of Braidwood Clean Energy Center

Surprise election law rewrite rammed through

We were surprised on Wednesday to have a bill making big changes to Illinois’ election law suddenly appear.

The legislation was introduced late in the morning, hurried through a hastily-called committee hearing, then rushed onto the floor for a vote. These are the kinds of non-transparent power grabs that erode trust in government. I hope this is not a preview of things to come with the state budget later this month.

We have learned to be suspicious of any effort in Springfield that is muscled through in this fashion. Since the outcome seemed pre-ordained, several of my colleagues and I voted Present rather than be a part of such a shady process.

The bill passed anyway and was rammed through the Senate just as rapidly on Thursday. Governor Pritzker quickly signed it.

We still have a month of session remaining. I hope we don’t see any more of these kinds of strong-arm tactics.

The people of Illinois deserve better than this.

Bill passes to address child care shortage

A bill I co-sponsored to increase the number of child care providers in Illinois has passed the House.

House Bill 4059, sponsored by Rep. Jackie Haas, requires the Department of Children and Family Services, or any other state agency which licenses day care responsibilities, to host orientation programs for prospective licensees at least twice a year throughout the state. The purpose of these programs would be to educate aspiring day care providers about the licensing process.

The shortage of day care providers affects every part of the state, and hosting these sorts of programs will help address that shortage by guiding applicants through the licensure process.

The bill passed the House unanimously and is now being considered in the Senate.

State Police warn of phone scam

There is another telephone scam circulating, this time involving someone claiming to be with the Illinois State Police.

Some Illinoisans have reported getting a call from someone claiming to be with an investigator from the State Police telling them that their identity has been stolen. The State Police say that this is a scam, and that anyone receiving the call should ask for the caller’s name, badge number and contact information, then hang up. You can verify a caller’s legitimacy by contacting one of the State Police investigative regions, which are listed on the State Police website.

Tour of Braidwood Clean Energy Center

My staff and I had an incredible opportunity to tour the Braidwood Clean Energy Center this week! Constellation employs approximately 684 employees and sits on approximately 4,457 acres with a 2,537-acre cooling lake.

They entered into commercial service in 1988 and have a license to continue through 2047.  Thank you to Constellation for this amazing experience.

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 $939,054,880. This figure changes daily. Last year at this time the state had $870 million 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

Gifted Illinois lottery ticket turns out to be million dollar winner

Seven bridges set to be rehabilitated in Grundy County this summer

Illinois Farm Families ‘We are the 96%’ campaign ad wins national award

Streator FFA celebrates 90 years

Department of Public Health, State Water Survey remind private well owners to test for contaminants