* 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.”
DEMOCRATS’ FISCAL YEAR 2023 BALANCED BUDGET
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.
$1.83 BILLION IN TAX RELIEF FOR WORKING FAMILIES
• 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
$1.2 BILLION FOR LONG-TERM FISCAL STABILITY
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.
PUBLIC SAFETY INVESTMENTS
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.
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.