Representative Dan Swanson’s March 28 Capitol News Update


  • Calls for ethics reform continue
  • Illinois named least tax-friendly of all 50 states
  • What’s happening in the 71st District
  • More news

Calls for ethics reform continue

House Republicans presented another ethics reform proposal to a House committee recently. The bill, HB 4119, would ban politicians from using their campaign funds to pay for legal bills in criminal cases.

Rep. Tony McCombie, the House Republican Leader, presented the bill in the House Ethics and Elections Committee. The need for the legislation has been highlighted by the ongoing legal troubles of former House Speaker Michael Madigan, who is facing a corruption and racketeering trial later this year. Madigan has used funds donated to his campaign account to pay his legal expenses.

In spite of numerous high-profile scandals and convictions in recent years, the House has not passed any ethics reform legislation this year and has taken very little action over the past several years. There have been many ethics reform proposals made, but it has not yet been possible to get a majority to support them.

“We have watched investigations, arrests, trials and convictions come and go for decades, and this chamber has an opportunity to be the leaders on this topic,” McCombie said during the hearing. The bill remains stuck in committee.

March is Ethics Awareness Month.

Illinois named least tax-friendly of all 50 states

Here’s one we’ve heard before, and now we are hearing it again: a recent study has found that Illinois is the least tax-friendly of all 50 states.

This time the finding came from the consumer website MoneyGeek, which indicated that a median family in Illinois pays about 13% (or one dollar out of every eight) in state and local taxes. These taxes are separate from the federal income taxes that residents of every state pay.

Dragging us down the most was the average Illinois property tax bill, which comes in right around $9000 per residence. Joining Illinois at the bottom of the list were northeastern states like Connecticut and New Jersey. Neighboring states with lower government spending and tax reform efforts like Indiana and Missouri were graded much higher.

What’s happening in the 71st District

It’s a busy time of year around the 71st District. Thank you to Tammy for stepping in and attending several events on my behalf while session continued in Springfield.

Tammy attended Dr. Huang’s farewell reception from Western Illinois University on Thursday night and Friday night attended the Petite Power of the Purse for McDonough County United Way with Legislative Director Shanie Sanders-Brown.

On Saturday morning Tammy went to the AlWood Elementary School Yard Sale and Bake Sale in the morning.

Meanwhile, it was a day of pancakes. I started out at Sherrard Fire Department where they specialize in blueberry pancakes. Then to Alexis where they specialize in their homemade sausage gravy for the biscuits. I ended at the Galesburg Knights of Columbus for the Knox County Right To Life pancakes. They specialize in strawberry and chocolate pancakes.

More news

Illinois Republicans speak out for public safety

State Police offering $90k+ for new troopers

After being rebuffed by regulators, utilities file slimmed-down spending plans