Legislation would spur study into Illinois federal “payer state” status

SPRINGFIELD — The General Assembly may support federal legislation to study Illinois’ status as a so-called “payer state.”

Being a “payer state” means Illinois pays more in federal income taxes than it receives in federal funding. A bill introduced in Congress by U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville) would study this discrepancy by requiring a yearly state-by-state report on the distribution of federal funds.

State Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) is sponsoring a resolution for state lawmakers to support the legislation.

“I was surprised by how big the gap is, at least $20 billion by Congressman Foster’s calculation,” McGuire said.

The House passed a similar resolution earlier this year. McGuire hopes by state lawmakers supporting the legislation, other members of Congress from Illinois will back Foster’s efforts and generally raise awareness of the “payer state” problem.