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Pritzker, Harmon and Welch announce budget agreement

Thursday, Apr 7, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement on the budget agreement with Democratic leadership.

“For the past three and a half years, my partners in the General Assembly and I have worked to right this state’s fiscal ship and ensure state resources are responsibly directed to government’s fundamental purpose: uplifting working families,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Today, leaders in both chambers have come to an agreement on yet another responsible, balanced budget that does just that. Our plan delivers more than $1.8 billion in tax relief to Illinois residents, adds $1 billion to our state’s long-depleted Rainy-Day Fund, and doubles down on our efforts to make unprecedented investments in public safety.

“I thank Speaker Welch, Senate President Harmon and their teams for a productive negotiation process that always placed the best interests of Illinoisans at the forefront. Once again, Democrats are demonstrating that ours is the party of fiscal responsibility — and there’s nothing more responsible than putting working families first. I look forward to passing our third consecutive balanced budget through the legislature, signing it into law, and delivering real relief to working families across Illinois.”


A strong economic recovery paired with responsible fiscal decisions has resulted in the state’s largest surplus in more than two decades. Democrats have worked to ensure Fiscal Year 2023’s budget puts money back into the pockets of hardworking families, invests in critical public safety measures, supports human services, and saves for a rainy day.

After a strong economic performance in the first quarter of this calendar year, revenue projections have been revised upward from the Governor’s proposed budget by approximately $2 billion over FY22 and FY23.


    • Suspend the tax on groceries for one year – saving consumers $400 million
    • Freeze the motor fuel tax for six months – saving consumers $70 million
    • Double the property tax rebate – up to $300 per household
    • Permanently expand the earned income tax credit – putting $100 million per year back into the pockets of working families who need it most
    • Provide direct checks to working families
    o $50 per individual
    o $100 per child, up to three children per family
     Income limits: $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for joint filers
    • Back to school tax relief for families and teachers – saving $50 million

Total relief for working families: $1.83 billion

Builds on $4.1 Billion in Debt Paydown in SB2803

    • $1 billion for Budget Stabilization Fund
    • An additional $200 million pension payment, bringing the total pension payment over what is required to $500 million dollars and saving taxpayers more than $1.8 billion.
    o These measures are in addition to the debt payment outlined in SB2803, which included $230 million for College Illinois and $898 million for Group Health Insurance bill backlog.


    Invests more than $200 million on top of the Governor’s proposed budget to support public safety measures, invest in the tools law enforcement needs to prevent and solve crimes and strengthen investments in violence prevent programs that keep communities safe.

…Adding… SGOPs…

In response to the recent budget announcement from the Governor and Democrat Leaders, Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie issued the following statement:

“What is most unfortunate about the Democrats’ budget plan is we have an opportunity right now to provide permanent tax relief for the people of Illinois, yet instead, the Democrats are choosing to provide one-time checks and other temporary relief just before the election which expires right after the election. Additionally, we are significantly increasing government spending. Evidently, they think they know how to better spend your money better than you do.”

* The HGOPs take the opposite tack…

Deputy Republican Leader Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) and Republican Floor Leader Mark Batinick offered the following comments on Governor Pritzker’s federally-funded budget that ignores the financial pressures in Illinois’ immediate future.

Deputy Republican Leader Tom Demmer:

“A year and a half ago, Gov. Pritzker was threatening Illinois voters with draconian cuts or across-the-board tax increases unless they approved his $3.4 billion tax increase amendment. But voters said no.

“Now, as Gov. Pritzker is running for re-election, he’s used the avalanche of federal bailout cash to paint a rosy picture of the state budget.

“But the facts show a different story. This year’s budget increases spending by 8% on state operations, while revenues are projected to decline by 1% over the same period—which makes this budget framework untenable. The problem is that Gov. Pritzker’s budget spends as if voters approved his tax hike—but they didn’t. When the federal bailout runs out, Gov. Pritzker will revert to pushing his tax hikes, and voters will be threatened again.”

Republican Floor Leader Mark Batinick:

“This isn’t a triumph of good management; the state is simply experiencing an inflation-induced sugar high. When the state crashes we will still have the same problems, but without the federal funds to bail us out. No structural changes have been made. No permanent property tax relief has been extended, and no regulatory relief has been implemented. Eventually, the pressures of inflation will catch up to the expense side of the ledger. There are storm clouds on the horizon.”

…Adding… Comptroller Mendoza…

Comptroller Mendoza’s statement on the budget agreement:

I am very encouraged by the budget agreement announced by Gov. Pritzker, Speaker Welch and Senate President Harmon:

    • A full billion dollars that the state will NOT spend and will instead divert into the Rainy Day Fund to protect us from economic downturns. That’s responsible budgeting.
    • $500 million extra to pay down the state pension shortfall – saving taxpayers $1.8 billion. That’s responsible budgeting.
    • Property tax rebates up to $300 and other relief for working families including a break on grocery sales tax.

I commend them on reaching this agreement. I strongly urge the legislature to swiftly adopt this fiscally responsible budget, keeping us on the path to further credit upgrades.


  1. - Montrose - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 5:18 pm:

    An individual making $200k is going to get a $50 check? Really? Lower the income cap and increase the amount you are giving out.

  2. - Question - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 5:20 pm:

    ==Freeze the motor fuel tax for six months – saving consumers $70 million==

    Is the lost/forgone road and transit infrastructure money being replaced by other General Fund revenue?

  3. - New Day - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 5:27 pm:

    What a phenomenal election year budget for Democrats. And if it leads to another upgrade or two, can’t wait to see the GOP messaging.

  4. - illinifan - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 5:27 pm:

    Property tax rebate useless for seniors whose only income is from retirement income. If you don’t pay state taxes you can’t claim the property tax benefit. Time to get seniors included in some of this.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 5:28 pm:

    The only 2 with this budget I will be interested to see how they vote; Demmer and Bourne

    Bailey needs his “Red” vote.

  6. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 5:46 pm:

    ==An individual making $200k is going to get a $50 check? Really? Lower the income cap and increase the amount you are giving out.==

    Agreed. Focus the money on folks in need.

    I’ll give my $50 to a local charity (homeless shelter, food pantry, NPR or PBS station, Living Lands & Waters, Lutheran Social Services (ht Rich), Habitat for Humanity, etc.)

    ==Bailey needs his “Red” vote.==

    Also, he gets his relief from the Feds; they are much more generous.

  7. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 5:48 pm:

    I think the previous limits on property tax rebates were 250k/500k. 200k/400k is technically better I suppose.

    I’ll dig into the details later, but I’m curious if the property tax rebate limits are now the same as the other more general “here’s your fifty bucks” income limits.

    The cynic in me sees this as almost an over-the-top pandering to suburban voters.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 6:11 pm:

    Here’s a bit of the “why” to Demmer.


    === “But the facts show a different story. This year’s budget increases spending by 8% on state operations, while revenues are projected to decline by 1% over the same period—which makes this budget framework untenable. The problem is that Gov. Pritzker’s budget spends as if voters approved his tax hike—but they didn’t.===


    Demmer is running for Treasurer. (Obviously, “given”, I know)

    If you read that with eyes of looking at a statewide candidate… and the tax breaks, and the plans here as a budget… “one year or not”…

    … Demmer, as he should, will hammer and shake that Frerichs wants to discuss taxing retirement income.

    Being “Red” here with tax breaks, Demmer could be seen as one who isn’t at all for helping Illinois most needy or giving relief to those who may need it most.

    Fair or not, the real is… red on a budget… you’re against all that’s in it.

    It stinks, but it’s fair game.

    So I read those words in that quote, is the idea to say “not far enough and smoke an mirrors until they raise taxes again” tenable?

  9. - Z - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 6:11 pm:

    @illinifan - the language will say in that situation they would get the rebate anyway.

  10. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 6:19 pm:

    So what time will they be voting on the SGOP budget?

  11. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 6:40 pm:

    “There are storm clouds on the horizon.”

    Spelunkers gonna spelunk.

    “An additional $200 million pension payment, bringing the total pension payment over what is required to $500 million dollars and saving taxpayers more than $1.8 billion”

    Illinois is in the best financial shape it’s been in years. We are paying down debt, which makes the future more secure. The last administration sabotaged the budget and exploded debt. The current administration is prioritizing responsibility and rejecting austerity.

  12. - West Side the Best Side - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 7:04 pm:

    Doesn’t McConchie really mean “Evidently, they think they know how to better spend your money than *we* do.”

  13. - Ok - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 7:11 pm:

    I don’t think people realize just how rare this is, still. I think everyone was so used to Speaker Madigan playing crazy little games all the way until the last minute, doing the budget himself without cooperation, and then loading up the member projects as a take it or leave it.

    Harmon tried a little of that funny business last year, but I think that might be one and done.

    Speaker Welch continues to be a breath of fresh air, and just a far more straightforward and honest broker.

  14. - Rosa - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 7:19 pm:

    What about people on social security?
    We need help also.

  15. - Really - Thursday, Apr 7, 22 @ 11:11 pm:

    $50 whole dollars? Of my own money? Wow? I can put 3/4 of a tank of gas in my car. Once.

  16. - Yo - Friday, Apr 8, 22 @ 5:50 am:

    Agreed, Ok. So glad Oz is done with

  17. - South Side Sam - Friday, Apr 8, 22 @ 6:16 am:

    “Provide direct checks to working families” ?
    Electioneering at it’s best.

  18. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 8, 22 @ 7:23 am:

    Nothing for seniors. all I have is retirement income and not enough to make ends meet.

  19. - Need More Info - Friday, Apr 8, 22 @ 7:51 am:

    Has the bill dropped yet - and, if so, what is the bill number?

  20. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Friday, Apr 8, 22 @ 8:37 am:

    == Double the property tax rebate – up to $300 per household==

    Meanwhile renters don’t get squat.

  21. - BluetoRed - Friday, Apr 8, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    Voting Republican this year….

  22. - Gale - Friday, Apr 8, 22 @ 11:24 am:

    Little to nothing for seniors with income only from Social Security.

  23. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 8, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    ===Little to nothing for seniors===

    You already don’t pay ANY state taxes on retirement income and you already receive a state break on property taxes, you will not pay sales taxes on groceries and get a bit of relief from rising gas taxes.

  24. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 8, 22 @ 5:18 pm:

    Appreciate the $50. Seriously, $600 for low income??? I Now work for $13.25 hour and pay over $500 month for insurance for 2 ppl on SS. If I make too much I get penalized in taxes. NO HAND OUTS HERE.

  25. - Lisa - Thursday, Apr 14, 22 @ 7:32 pm:

    I’m thankful for every dollar I’d get from a direct check, that’s how desperate things are. Geez, I can barely afford to buy groceries. Picking and choosing which medicines I have no choice to buy and giving up others. Lower the income guidelines and send some real help

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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