Illinois will surely reach junk bond status if it doesn’t get its act together and start taking pointers from everyone else who is taxing items such as plastic bags, soda, vaping devices and even cloud services. Although some of those taxes are already in place or currently being considered in certain counties and cities of the state, they should in fact be statewide — nationwide even.

People can get over and even get behind any tax that is attached to anything harmful to our health and environment such as cigarettes, gas, plastic bags and sodas. I’m all for those. In fact, why not start increasing taxes across all plastic goods that we use daily, even including toys. Fast-food, plastics, non-recyclables (batteries, electronics), sugary drinks and candy are examples that could have been considered to being taxed statewide before resorting to taxing our income.

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Having the freedom to choose which tax to pay is a whole lot better than being forced to take home less pay. People can only stretch the dollar so much, which is probably how we ended up here. Ultimately we are the ones stuck paying for the shameless lack of accountability our government practices.

Anthony Villegas, Burbank

Demand Rauner sign HB 40

After having 3 healthy children, my husband and I weren’t ready for a permanent birth control solution so our birth control of choice was an IUD. We were lucky to have a choice. Currently, House Bill 40 — which is sitting on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk waiting for his signature — will allow all women to continue to safely find the best birth control for their situation in the event that the Supreme Court over turns Roe v. Wade. However, without the passage of HB 40, the majority of birth control methods will become a criminal offense including the IUD.

HB 40 is not all about abortion, it goes much deeper and will affect all residents of Illinois — an issue that is unknown to most. I’m not a criminal nor are other women who choose birth control as a method for their family planning. HB 40 is especially impactful for families who cannot afford birth control, reproductive care and more.

Based on Governor Rauner’s questionnaire for Personal Pac in 2014 as a candidate for governor, he states, “My highest priority in this area will be to ensure effective administration of the laws regarding access to contraception and provide that access regardless of income.”

Please remind the Governor of his commitment to the women of Illinois by contacting him at 312-814-2121 and 217-782-0244 or send a message via personalpac.org/take-action and demand that he protect access to reproductive health care for all women.

Marcy Kirsh, Northbrook

The state who cried ‘wolf’

There is a fable about a boy that cried out “wolf” when there was no wolf; when a wolf showed up no one believed him and a herd of sheep was lost. Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister, was a proponent of repeating the big lie often. That is the case with our governmental officials; they predicted doom to get public opinion favorable to the tax issue. There was no need to cancel construction on the tollway as the enabling statute requires all maintenance and construction costs to come from tolls. But then, who pays attention to a statute that required the toll roads to be free when the initial bonds were paid off? Tolls were and are collected. The Secretary of State stopped sending renewal notices to drivers when the statute requires that the fees collected be devoted to the program. Fees were collected. None of the governing bodies — city, county or state — considered reducing in their expenditures. If Cook County is to lay-off thousands of workers in the various agencies, it means they are overstaffed and could limit the expansion but not reduction of budgets. We are the sheep and we are repeatedly lied to.

John Culloton, Norwood Park