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Bomke: Survey results reveal concerns of central Illinoisans          Send a link to a friend

[April 21, 2007]  SPRINGFIELD -- Central Illinoisans say the state needs tougher ethics reform and Gov. Blagojevich needs to stop raiding dedicated funds to pay for the day-to-day operations of state government. That's according to a survey sent out by state Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, which asked area residents to weigh in on issues that they feel most adamant about.

Bomke sent out the survey in February and has received over 500 responses.

"This annual survey allows me to find out what is on everyone's mind," Bomke said. "The more feedback I receive, the better."

The following are the questions listed on the survey and the vote percentages:

1. Do you support parental notification requirements before minors can get an abortion?

Yes -- 86 percent
No -- 14 percent

2. Should Illinois adopt a statewide law to ban the use of cell phones while operating a vehicle?

Yes -- 67 percent
No -- 33 percent

3. Should there be a constitutional amendment requiring Road Fund tax revenues be spent only on road improvements?

Yes -- 89 percent
No -- 11 percent

4. Do you support the expansion of gambling as a means of generating additional state revenue?

Yes -- 43 percent
No -- 57 percent

5. Do you support raising the income tax as a means of generating additional state revenue?

Yes -- 42 percent
No -- 58 percent

6. Do you support borrowing money to solve the state's budget crisis?

Yes -- 13 percent
No -- 87 percent

7. Would you support imposing Internet sales taxes on Illinois companies who sell to out-of-state purchasers?

Yes -- 65 percent
No -- 35 percent

8. Should there be a law prohibiting the governor from diverting money from special, dedicated funds to pay the day-to-day operations of state government?

Yes -- 92 percent
No -- 8 percent

9. Should the state raise the income tax to increase funding for education, if property tax breaks are included?

Yes -- 66 percent
No -- 34 percent

10. Should Illinois impose tighter campaign finance reform laws to help remove special interest money from state legislative and executive races?

Yes -- 94 percent
No -- 6 percent

11. Do you favor putting the state's redistricting process in the hands of a nonpartisan committee to foster more competition in legislative races?

Yes -- 88 percent
No -- 12 percent

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12. Would you support an open primary law, which would allow voters to cast a secret ballot in primary elections by elimination [of] the current requirement that voters publicly declare their party?

Yes -- 89 percent
No -- 11 percent

13. When a company makes a political contribution to the governor, should that company be restricted from making a bid on state contracts for a limited time?

Yes -- 91 percent
No -- 9 percent

14. Should Illinois implement managed care principles within the state's Medicaid system as a way to provide Medicaid recipients with a primary care physician and reduce the skyrocketing costs of Illinois' Medicaid program?

Yes -- 86 percent
No -- 14 percent

15. Would you support lifting the moratorium on the death penalty?

Yes -- 74 percent
No -- 26 percent

16. Do you think Illinois is headed in the right direction?

Yes -- 14 percent
No -- 86 percent

The survey listed 16 questions and then had a section to discuss further concerns. The majority of people who responded to the survey filled in this section. Of the concerns listed, the majority of people were troubled by the governor's proposed gross receipts tax, rising property taxes, driver's certificates for illegal aliens and embryonic stem cell research. A number of respondents also stated that they were unhappy with the governor because he is not living in Springfield at the governor's mansion.

Bomke has reviewed the results of the survey and is currently sponsoring legislation to address many of these issues.

One such issue, ethics reform, is being addressed by a proposed constitutional amendment. SJRCA24, sponsored by Bomke, requires final appropriation bills to be on file for seven calendar days before the General Assembly budget vote may be taken.

Despite a requirement that the governor submit the budget in early spring and despite extensive budget hearings, the real budget has traditionally been put together in the final hours of the legislative session -- often in secret. Currently there is only a one-hour notice required, meaning budgets can be forced through the General Assembly in minutes. This doesn't give lawmakers, the press or the public enough time to properly digest the intricate components of state budgets. A seven-day period of debate will ensure that the public, the media and lawmakers have some opportunity to scrutinize where taxpayers' dollars are being spent.

"I want to thank those people who took the time to fill out my survey," Bomke said. "I am planning on doing this again because of the number of responses I received. It is a wonderful sign that people are interested in what's going on in their state government."

If you did not fill out a survey and would like to make your opinion heard, you can e-mail the senator at

[Text from news release sent on behalf of Sen. Larry Bomke and received from Illinois Senate Republican staff]

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