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What will be in Gov. Pritzker’s Feb. 2 budget address?

Monday, Jan 24, 2022

* Greg Hinz

We’re just over a week out from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s annual big speech laying out budget and other priorities, and the big scramble is on behind the scenes to claim a piece of the pie.

As usual, one key question is how much schools will get. Given that it’s an election year, they’ll probably do all right.

Another is, with tax receipts running better than expected both here and nationally, whether Pritzker will follow the lead of New York’s Kathy Hochul—like Pritzker, a Democrat—and include some form of relief for taxpayers, especially property owners. Doing so, even if the amount is small, sure would look good out there on the campaign trail.

For the business community, the big issue is whether Pritzker will allot a sizable share of the remaining $3 billion or so in unallocated federal COVID relief funds to fill a portion of the $4.5 billion hole in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund.

* Ten days ago, a friend was polled and took copious notes…

Interesting poll… The only candidates mentioned by name were Richard Irvin and Darren Bailey. But the only matchup asked about was Bailey v Pritzker.

And she asked about policy positions on some kinda interesting stuff

    - one-year suspension of grocery tax
    - eliminate small biz franchise tax
    - eliminate license and registration fees for 200K nurses in IL
    - provide incentives for ppl to become nurses w free community college
    - eliminate regulatory fees for small businesses
    - expand EITC
    - freeze property taxes statewide
    - Ensure College Illinois! is fiscally stable to guarantee families don’t lose their investments
    - fully fund special ed w $200M more
    - direct cash payments $200/child for every family earning below $50K
    - eliminate scheduled increase to the gas tax this summer
    - increase funding for programs that support minority-owned businesses that serve underserved
    - eliminate regulatory fees for alcohol for restaurants and bars for one year … hit hard by pandemic
    - increase penalties for organized retail theft

I haven’t been able to confirm who did that poll, but it looked to my eyes like a Pritzker endeavor. But, hey, I could be wrong.

Anyway, is there anything on that list which you like more than others?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    A suspension of the grocery tax seems really interesting. Helps everyone, but especially the people who really need help. Tho I’ll plead ignorance- I don’t know if the grocery tax is earmarked for something specific that I would worry about getting unfunded.


  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    ===A suspension of the grocery tax===

    It’s only 1 percent.


  3. - clec dcn - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    Property tax freeze would be nice one of the major reasons for the planned moved out of Illinois. Not sure when but they are really out of control.


  4. - Huh - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    It’s tough for an informed Illinoisan to make a call on which of these would be good for people but not put us back in the financial hole.

    Without the facts, the grocery and gas tax ideas would probably sell with a lot of folks. It would look like they were actually trying to help folks with inflation with (probably) a minimal hit to the state’s bottom line. People realize it every time they go to the store or the gas pump.

    The property tax freeze sounds good at first until you see how little would be saved per person, and it only hits once in the year.


  5. - JS Mill - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    =Not sure when but they are really out of control.=

    What does that even mean?

    The fact is that property taxes are high in Illinois compared to other states. BUt they are completely in control. There are a number of factors that limit the growth of property taxes year over year. And, property taxes are the means for most local unit of governments to pay for their expenses. Unlike other states.


  6. - Bourbon Street - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 11:25 am:

    Eliminating license and registration fees for Illinois nurses is a wonderful and practical way to thank them for all the hard work they’ve done during the pandemic.


  7. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 11:27 am:

    ==- Ensure College Illinois! is fiscally stable to guarantee families don’t lose their investments==

    Don’t let a possible SOS Alexi get anywhere near College Illinois.


  8. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    How about taking a page from Springfield’s budgetary playbook and applying some of that $$ to pensions? [Sarcasm font on] Reduce the slope of the Edgar Ramp.


  9. - Arsenal - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 11:34 am:

    ==It’s only 1 percent. ==

    Ah. Probably only good for the politics of it, then.


  10. - DuPage - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 11:35 am:

    Eliminate license and registration fees for small trailers and make up for it by making giant truck-cranes buy truck license plates.


  11. - Lincoln Lad - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 11:35 am:

    Freeze property taxes for everyone but the rich. Draw a line at some property value, and freeze taxes below that line.


  12. - Facts Matter - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 12:06 pm:

    All of the tax on groceries goes to the locals. So, elimination of tax will mean less money to the locals from the state. If those funds aren’t returned to the locals in some other form, the locals with have to come up with another way to raise the funds. Two ways would be increasing the local sales tax on non-grocery sales or property taxes . . . .


  13. - Friendly Bob Adams - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 12:11 pm:

    Property taxes are set by local school boards and other units of government. How does the Governor freeze those?


  14. - Hieronymus - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 12:30 pm:

    “- eliminate license and registration fees for 200K nurses in IL”

    … and maybe hire _these nurses_ to a state-run facility in need …

    https://www.reddit.com/r/medicine/comments/s9fl89/thedacare_seeks_court_order_against_ascension/

    https://www.reddit.com/r/medicine/comments/sa9eeq/what_can_we_do_about_the_thedacare_situation/


  15. - OneMan - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    ==eliminate license and registration fees for 200K nurses in IL ==

    Would be curious what levels of nursing this would be applied to and if it would extend to the controlled substance license that some advanced practice nurses have to have. An ANP in Illinois has to have both an RN and APN license (two separate fees).

    That being said an RN license is $40 a year with renewal every 2 years. So while it sounds nice it isn’t changing a nurses standard of living.


  16. - cermak_rd - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 12:38 pm:

    fully fund special ed. That’s both an ethical obligation. One or two special ed students can put a small school district in a deep hole. If the state is going to demand FAPE it should pay for it.


  17. - don the legend - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 12:42 pm:

    Maybe JB can make children and DCFS a priority.


  18. - Blake - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    On Nursing, are there any hurdles out of state nurses have to jump through for licensure? If so, look for what can be eliminated.


  19. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 3:05 pm:

    All of the tax ideas don’t go real far me for. I just bought $56 bucks or so of groceries and my tax hit was $0.56. I could support a version of free JR college for nurses but I think the most impactful thing to do is something with retail theft and crime. That will get folks to vote - all the other stuff seems way to small to make a difference.


  20. - Tired Teacher - Monday, Jan 24, 22 @ 4:34 pm:

    IRTA has filed suit because CMS is planning on underfunding insurance for retirees. It would be great to see JB reverse that and have the state honor it’s contractual and constitutional obligations. It is disheartening to see this move by CMS.


  21. - Back to the Future - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 10:12 am:

    We are one of only 4 states in America that currently tax groceries. This has got to be about the most regressive tax Illinois has.
    We need to think about what our priorities are. Why not just eliminate it?


  22. - Bothanspied - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:44 am:

    = = Probably only good for the politics of it= =

    I think this 1% grocery freeze is a ridiculous spend of money. Your Average Joe that JB is trying to reach out to is not going to notice the 1% savings while standing at the register. Unless all grocery receipts start showing that the tax is 0% with a picture of JB’s face and a caption, “JB did this”


  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 31, 22 @ 11:45 am:

    ===Your Average Joe that JB is trying to reach out to is not going to notice the 1% savings while standing at the register===

    I’d bet money that if you did a poll, most people would say the state fully taxes grocery sales.


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