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*** UPDATED x2 *** Pritzker unveils budget plan

Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021

* Click here, here or here to watch the governor’s budget address. Click here to read the address in full. Click here for the budget briefing issued by the governor’s office this morning. Some excerpts

Closing the FY2022 Projected Deficit

FY2021 and FY2022 General Funds Revenues Summary

    ✓ Base General Funds revenues are estimated to total $41.7 billion, a $226 million, or 0.5%, increase from FY21 revised base estimates.
    ✓ Total General Funds revenues for FY22 reflect a $1,772 billion, or 4.1% decrease from FY21 due to the one- time nature of the $1,998 million in MLF borrowing.
    ✓ Individual income taxes are forecasted to be below FY21 due to the extension of the April 2020 tax filing deadline to July 2020 – in FY21.
    ✓ Revenues from adult-use cannabis are expected to generate $69 million for transfer to the General Funds in FY22.
    ✓ Federal revenue forecast equals $3,971 million, a reduction from FY21 due to only a half year of enhanced Medicaid match.
    ✓ FY22 revenue forecast benefits from proposed closure of several tax loopholes.

FY2021 and FY2022 General Funds Expenditures Summary

    ✓Proposed FY22 General Funds operating expenditures total $30.0 billion, a $4.2 million decrease from FY21.
    ✓The proposed budget reflects full payment of the certified FY22 pension contribution.
    ✓Total FY22 General Funds expenditures are $41.6 billion, a $1.8 billion (4.2%) decrease from FY21.
    ✓ Estimated FY22 budgetary surplus of $120 million.

Closing Corporate Loopholes - “Off the Top” Expenditures of State Tax Dollars

Efficient and Effective Government

    ✓State Employee and Retiree Health Care Savings – the administration has negotiated over $900 million in health care cost savings.
    ✓ Estimated $650 million in collectively- bargained cost savings with employees through FY23.
    ✓ An additional $260 million in savings achieved through negotiated insurance rates and contract terms with providers.
    ✓Agency Efficiency Savings –
    ✓ Electronic and web-based alternatives to save postage and paper.
    ✓ Merging anti-fraud program at Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission with anti-fraud unit at Department of Insurance.
    ✓ $10 million in reductions to contractual and commodities appropriations at the Department of Corrections.
    ✓ Optimizing the State Workforce – Since 2002, the state’s workforce is down >22%. ✓ Agencies carefully manage on-board headcount.
    ✓ Approximately 5,000 current vacancies.

Higher Education
Provides Stability to Our Colleges and Universities
Supports college affordability and focuses on closing equity gaps in Illinois education.

    ✓ Increases Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding to protect awards for current students - $28 million
    ✓ Maintains general funds state support for ✓ Universities – $1.157 billion
    ✓ Community Colleges - $249.5 million
    ✓ Adds first annual payment to stabilize College Illinois - $20 million
    ✓ Funds the Common Application Partnership Program - $1 million
    ✓ Provides funding to help implement the new equity-driven strategic plan for higher education institutions - $250,000
    ✓ Federal assistance through Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) will go directly to higher education institutions.

Investing in Economic Development - Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity:

    ✓ Includes funding from the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program to execute rental and housing assistance programs through IHDA and DHS - $570 million
    ✓ Continues funding to support entrepreneurs and communities harmed by the decades-long war on drugs with the Cannabis Social Equity Loan Program - $18 million
    ✓ Invests in broadband deployment to maximize all opportunities for federal funding - $25 million
    ✓ Supports the administration of the Illinois Works Jobs Program Act- $2 million
    ✓ Reappropriates capital funding to provide competitive matching grants that expand access to high-speed broadband internet across the state - $375 million
    ✓ Continues competitive grant funding to provide infrastructure improvements, such as street, highway, bridge, park district and recreation improvements to benefit local communities - $202 million
    ✓ Reappropriates Minority-Owned Small Business Capital Grant funding to allow DCEO to continue equipping small, minority- owned businesses and community organizations with the resources to create jobs, build capacity, increase revenues and expand regionally - $25 million
    ✓ Includes a reappropriation for competitive capital grant funding to fund economic development opportunities including the Shovel Ready Sites Program, opportunity zone investments, development of wet lab space and targeted investments in economically depressed areas - $303 million

*** UPDATE 1 *** The FY22 budget book is here.

Also, from the acknowledgements…

Historical research for Governor Pritzker’s remarks came by way of a broad coalition of libraries and archives from around the state. The story of Hallie Staley Kinter was documented in a 1977 oral history interview available from the Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield. In no particular order, the Governor’s Office offers its gratitude to:

    • Hallie Staley Kinter Memoir, Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, Norris L Brookens Library, University of Illinois Springfield
    • Chicago Public Library Archives and Special Collections
    • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
    • STORIED, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement
    • Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library
    • Curtis Mann and the Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library
    • McLean County Museum of History
    • Illinois State Library
    • Illinois Digital Archives
    • Illinois Department of Agriculture
    • Illinois Department of Public Health
    • The Mahomet Daily
    • Mauricio Peña/Block Club Chicago
    • Frank O. Lowden Papers, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
    • Chicago Magazine
    • Chicago History Museum
    • The Midway Village Museum via the Rockford Register Star
    • The Kankakee County Museum Photo Archive via the Daily Journal

*** UPDATE 2 *** Tribune story is up

In his prepared remarks, Pritzker blistered Republicans nationally and locally for seeking to block further federal assistance to states, saying, “In essence, they eliminated the fire department, burned down the house and poured gas on the flames — and now they’re asking why we’re not doing more to prevent fires.”

“In a normal year, I might have more patience for their hypocrisy. But this is not a normal year,” he said. Of Republicans refusing to offer up proposed budget cuts, Pritzker said, “Apparently their idea of bipartisanship ends when hard choices must be made.”

The third spending plan offered by Pritzker in his term in office, along with his view of the state of the state, comes at a critical time for the Democratic governor, setting the stage for an expected 2022 reelection campaign in which his pandemic restrictions are expected to become a central theme. The governor has faced an increasingly restless audience of voters and lawmakers despite a state COVID-19 death toll of more than 20,000.

Please. He should be so lucky if his restrictions become a central theme. They’re popular. It’s the mistakes and blunders that will likely be a problem, including the veterans’ home mass die-off.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

26 Comments »
  1. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 12:25 pm:

    ✓State Employee and Retiree Health Care Savings – the administration has negotiated over $900 million in health care cost savings.
    ✓ Estimated $650 million in collectively- bargained cost savings with employees through FY23.
    ✓ An additional $260 million in savings achieved through negotiated insurance rates and contract terms with providers.

    —-

    Behind the fancy savings language, I’m reading more delayed payments for health providers to state employees and retirees. Possibly higher co-pays or increased insurance payments by employees / retirees. And expectations of clawbacks in the next labor union contract.

    Those 3 items in the summary come to $1.8B. Not quite smoke and mirrors, but not guaranteed. Likely a double whammy to existing state employees.

    If they aren’t going to be giving out raises in the next contract, look for more retirements by those who can leave. Will just make the hollowing out of state government worse.


  2. - GA Watcher - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 12:28 pm:

    Governor’s budget cuts LGDF to local governments by 10 percent. Guess he doesn’t consider municipalities as being on the frontlines in the fight against COVID when he says,

    “In this unprecedented time, I believe we must fully support the agencies on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.”


  3. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 12:29 pm:

    The future use of Facebook as a platform to distribute this kind of speech needs to have the comments disabled.

    The extent to which some people have chosen to use the platform to make anti-Semitic and other similar comments is an embarrassment. Comments need to be disabled on future videos in order to prevent state resource from indirectly providing a platform for that kind of ignorant hate.

    Speaking of public platforms for ignorant hate, why is Chris Miller still a State Representative? Are there going to be any consequences for his seditious and anti-democratic behavior? Or does he get to cast his lot with domestic terrorists like it ain’t no thing?


  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===I’m reading more delayed payments===

    Not sure that’s the case.


  5. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===Governor’s budget cuts LGDF to local governments by 10 percent.===

    Do you need a copy of the precinct level results for the Fair Tax Amendment? The leadership for a lot of those local government units and the people that live there specifically voted against expanding state revenues. That’s going to have some consequences.

    Perhaps now might be a good time to revisit the unnecessary township governments as a means of saving costs.


  6. - Tracy - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    The Governor is right in asking the Republicans in Congress to stand up for Illinois taxpayers and prevent Illinois from being a donor state.


  7. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===Please. He should be so lucky if his restrictions become a central theme.===

    I believe the Tribune’s plan may to just be to repeat it until it becomes true in the minds of enough people.

    I have spent the last year in a constant state of surprise at the extent to which people have revealed themselves to be a worse version of themselves than I ever would have imagined and someone keeps creating the propaganda to fuel it.


  8. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    Good speech. And good transparency on the budget. Not seeing unreasonable plug #s and magic beans.


  9. - Shytown - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:04 pm:

    Dear Chicago Tribune: you may have missed the memo but methinks the far majority of Illinoisans are pretty darn happy with the Gov’s response to COVID.


  10. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:05 pm:

    Candy Dogood tellin’ it as it is today. Nicely done.


  11. - Perrid - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:19 pm:

    So slide 27 of the Budget in Brief shows the IDOC population, inmates, dropping by about 9,000, a quarter, from December 2019 to December 2020. That’s huge.


  12. - City Zen - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:20 pm:

    ==Governor’s budget cuts LGDF to local governments by 10 percent.==

    So it was JB who eliminated the fire department.


  13. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:22 pm:

    How disappointing to once again witness the monstrous descent of atavistic humans…fueled by hatred of any convenient other…into deluded madness.

    Hunter Thompson would have been… impressed?


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    === So it was JB who eliminated the fire department.===

    If the Raunerites want to fund it, they should help in the funding part of a budget.

    Governors own, they always do.

    Passively pointing at defunding munis won’t endear Raunerites back home either.


  15. - dbk - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:25 pm:

    I watched the entire speech on FB as well, and felt ashamed of many of the commenters/comments.

    Especially in light of the Gov’s closing reference to Illinoisans as “generous, heroic and strong,” which I thought was both beautiful and apt.

    Re: 10% cut to LGDF, I suspect he’s relying on the $1.9 trillion federal aid bill to pass. It has a big sum ($350 bn) allotted for state and local governments which will be distributed via a population-based formula. IL will get a hefty chunk as one of the top-6 states.

    Re: broadband ($50 million to ensure 26,000 more residents are connected): This might be recoup-able through a portion of the last relief bill’s $7 billion for broadband expansion; not sure but worth pursuing.


  16. - Blue Dog - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:25 pm:

    The governor called me personally to thank me for my recommendation on shaving LGDF by 10%. This by the way, is only the beginning.


  17. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:28 pm:

    == Not sure that’s the case. ==

    It may not be … I know he said he had already negotiated reductions … but delayed payment is usually what has happened in the past.


  18. - Joe Schmoe - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    Sounded like a campaign kick-off speech….


  19. - thoughts matter - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 2:26 pm:

    I think his employee health care savings are due to premium increases and deductible and co-pay increases that are built into the current contract. The one that covered last fiscal year, and runs thru June 30 2023. An increase in both will happen each July until then.
    Then there is the fact that people went to the doctor or the hospital less often beginning March 2020- except for those who got Covid.


  20. - Just Another Anon - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 2:54 pm:

    “veterans’ home mass die-off”. I’m no PR guy, but I don’t think that is a term you want to use.


  21. - Sir Lurk-a-lot - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 3:00 pm:

    * They’re popular. *

    Only with those who need government to manage their lives i.e. the capfax crowd.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 3:07 pm:

    === the capfax crowd.===

    … and yet here *you* are, lol

    Highlighting the pandemic a century ago was good to framing not only the human element but as was said… “the more things change… “ part of this tragedy and dealing with challenges


  23. - Union Dues - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 3:35 pm:

    Looks like businesses and state employees will be two of the most impacted groups. I would rather have seem the pain spread out more.


  24. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 3:48 pm:

    Health plans have had much lower utilization in FY2020 due to Covid. The Blues have given premium credits back to fully insured plans. Maybe that is where some of the savings are. I will say that the state health insurance plan is better than anything you can get working in the private sector. Average costs are around $9000 an employee and employees only pay around $2k of that annually. Most private sector plans split this cost 50/50.


  25. - thoughts matter - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 5:30 pm:

    FYI - state employee. I pay $400 a month for myself and 1 dependent. Plus about $300 a month in deductibles and copays.


  26. - Chatham Resident - Wednesday, Feb 17, 21 @ 7:26 pm:

    ==Governor’s budget cuts LGDF to local governments by 10 percent==

    That might not be a bad thing for City of Springfield. This will mean little or no room for the latest Langfelder pipe dream downtown project downstairs (e.g., Public Market bar/restaurant in the midst of a pandemic, downtown hotel project that went nowhere where the Club Station bar is at, Y block).


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