I live in Illinois (unfortunately) and have for 24 years. The politicians, especially at the state level, funnel money to each other and to their campaign contributors' businesses at an unprecedented level here. It's the way things have been done since the early 20th Century, or even prior to that. It is accepted in the political culture as normal.
Labor unions dominate Illinois, as well, and especially within the teachers' union (my wife is an educator) and SEIU. They rule through intimidation and get the politicians in their back pocket from one election cycle to another. Our current governor, Pat Quinn, is in bed with them, too. Unfortunately, their unfinanced pension liabilities are tens of billions of dollars and this will be the death blow to our state. Chicago dominates the rest of Illinois and the way Cook County votes for statewide, or national, seats usually swings the entire state's vote one way or another.
Our state constitution mandates a balanced budget. We haven't had one of those for years. My spouse is forced to pay into the TRS (Teacher's Retirement Fund) and the governors have taken money out of that account to pay other 'emergency' bills. She may never see her (our) investment. One-half of our newborn kids go on state assistance within two years of being born and most stay on it most of their lives. The state legislature and state level political offices are comprised of people directly related to one another or in bed (figuratively) with one another. Many state senators and representatives double dip on incomes and serve in county or Chicago city jobs, in addition to getting paid for political office.
It would be comical other than for the fact it costs us in the middle class more and more money via taxes each year....and not just the recent 66% state income hike.
My wife and I want to leave this state soon. It won't be soon enough for me.