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Budget react roundup

Friday, May 26, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Posted in the order of most recently received…

The Healthy Illinois Campaign believes that healthcare is a human right and will continue to work with our elected leaders until everyone is covered, regardless of age and regardless of immigration status.

We thank the Illinois General Assembly for defending and continuing coverage for all low-income state residents ages 42+. More than 50,000 Illinois immigrants will continue to receive life-changing and life-saving care. Safety-net healthcare providers will continue to be compensated for the care they provide. Our families and communities will be safer and healthier and our healthcare system will be stronger and more stable because Illinois continues to cover low-income residents.

Healthy Illinois will continue to advocate for the over 100,000 Illinoisans ages 19-41 who are still left without a pathway to health coverage. They are our neighbors and family members. They are essential workers, young parents, and people in need of reproductive healthcare.

Illinois made history in 2020 and set national precedent when we became the first state to expand coverage to low-income seniors regardless of immigration status. Next year, in 2024, we must pass coverage for all. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Healthy Illinois invites the General Assembly and Governor Pritzker to work with immigrant communities, advocates, and healthcare providers to continue to protect and expand coverage for all.

* Illinois Policy Institute…

The Illinois Senate passed a $50 billion budget that includes nearly $5,000 a year in raises for lawmakers, $50 million for new offices for themselves but nothing for the low-income students depending on Illinois’ only school choice program.

State senators approved the fiscal year 2024 budget package (Senate Bill 250 and House Bill 3817) late Thursday night, with the Illinois House of Representatives poised to approve it by early Saturday morning. It heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his signature afterwards.

Among the line items leaders are set to approve is a lawmaker pay hike to $89,675 a year salary from $85,000, and $50 million toward demolition and redesign of the Stratton Office Building. Notably absent in the package is any sort of extension of the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Act, which is set expire Dec. 31, 2023.

Matt Paprocki, president and CEO at the Illinois Policy Institute, offered the following statement:

“This budget is a travesty for thousands of working families who wanted better opportunities for their children. More than 9,000 kids rely on the Invest in Kids program to attend a school that best fits their needs and thousands more are still on a waiting list.

“With this budget, state leaders missed a huge opportunity to give relief and certainty to a vitally important, yet modest scholarship program supported by most Illinois voters.

“Harmon, Pritzker and Welch all sent their kids to private schools. But they left low-income Illinoisans on the chopping block because they care more about the political support of radical teachers union leadership than Illinois’ working families.

“We should be talking about extending this program and making it permanent in the fall.”

* Leader Curran…

Illinois Senate Republican Leader John Curran (R-Downers Grove) responds to passage of FY 24 Budget

“This budget isn’t just a spending plan, it’s a list of choices. The Democratic Majority chose to spend $600 million on free healthcare for non-citizen adults and asylum seekers in Chicago over fully-funding services for developmentally disabled Illinoisans and saving K-12 scholarships for low-income families.”

* Sen. DeWitte…

On Thursday night, the Senate approved a Fiscal Year 2024 budget that spends over $50 billion. After receiving bipartisan opposition, State Senator Don DeWitte, who voted against the budget, issued the following statement:

“Republicans brought some very important priorities to the negotiation table this year. We wanted to support our manufacturers, our corporations, and the small businesses that provide jobs to millions of Illinoisans. Through our priorities we wanted to grow jobs in this state so people could earn a good wage, have benefits, and put good food on their tables. Unfortunately, our policy initiatives, like the elimination of the estate tax, which would help generational farming families, didn’t make the budget. Our Research & Development tax credits, which would provide opportunities for existing businesses to invest in new product development, so they could create more jobs with good wages and benefits, also wasn’t included. A thriving economy depends on a robust business community, and this budget misses the mark.

“There is not one legislator in the General Assembly who didn’t hear from mayors and other community leaders in their home districts asking for restoration of the Local Government Distributed Fund funds owed to them. This is tax revenue generated locally and sent to the state, and per a long-standing agreement, 10% of those funds are supposed to be returned to local units of government to help fund their budgets. While we made some progress, we didn’t go nearly far enough. The majority party continues to sweep nearly half of these funds for other state-level uses. Our municipalities deserved much better from this body.”

* Sen. Lewis…

On Thursday night, the Senate approved a Fiscal Year 2024 budget that spends over $50 billion. After the 34 to 22 vote, State Senator Seth Lewis, who voted against the budget, issued the following statement:

“We live in a wonderful state with great potential, and we had an opportunity this year to collaborate on a Fiscal Year 2024 budget that reflects the priorities of the people and families that call Illinois home. Unfortunately, I could not support the budget because I felt it came up short in addressing issues my constituents have said are important to them. They just want safe streets, good schools, opportunities to be successful, and to know that our state’s most vulnerable citizens have the services they need.

“I saw glimpses of bipartisanship in this year’s budget process and that gives me hope for future budget discussions. The reinstatement of the Blue Collar Jobs Act was an important priority for Republicans, and I was pleased to see bipartisan support for bringing that important job-creating program back. But there is much more we could have done to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit and help our job creators build, grow and thrive in this state. Those conversations will continue.”

* Sen. Villa…

The Illinois Senate approved a Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which included key wins for education, health care and a home modification program. In response, State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) released the following statement:

“It is vital that we support the youth in our state in both their educational and mental development. Educational advancements would mean nothing if we weren’t also supporting our students as they grow, struggle and learn who they are. That is why I am pleased to see this budget not only increases funding to education but to mental and behavioral health services as well.

“There are many educational wins in this budget. Of this, I am glad to see $45 million going towards the first year of a three-year pilot program to fill teacher vacancies. There has been a massive strain on the educational workforce in our state, and this funding will help both teachers and students.

“As a former social worker, I know how important it is to pair education with mental health services. I am proud this budget will give over $22 million to begin implementing the new Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative. In addition to mental health care funding, I am excited to see this budget is also increasing funding to the Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, who provide medical services to those who are uninsured or underinsured.

“Finally, I am eager to announce that $7.5 million dollars has been awarded to the Home Modification Program that I introduced to the Senate with Senate Bill 120. The program will offer financial assistance so people with disabilities may pay for home modifications to improve their living situations to assist them in day to day life, such as a stair lifts. This program will benefit seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. I would like to thank my friend and colleague, Representative Maurice West, for introducing this program.

“My colleagues and I have worked diligently to provide our state with a budget that will provide something for everyone, and I was proud to see it pass today.”

* Sen. Chesney…

On Thursday night the Senate approved a Fiscal Year 2024 budget that spends over $50 billion. After the 34 to 22 vote, State Senator Andrew Chesney, who voted against the budget, issued the following statement:

“This is yet another out-of-touch budget filled with misplaced priorities that cater to the extremes of the Democratic base at the expense of vulnerable Illinois citizens. This irresponsible spending plan does plenty for illegal immigrants, not enough for Illinois citizens, and sets the taxpayers of Illinois up for a tax hike in the not-too-distant future. Democrats did make sure, however; that legislators will receive another pay increase next year.

“Illinois is fast becoming known as the state that can’t take care of its own citizens, but bends over backward to take care of people who are in this country illegally. From millions toward welcoming centers for illegal immigrants to likely over a billion in free healthcare for non-citizens, the majority party is certainly letting Illinois citizens know where their priorities lie.

“I am extremely disappointed that there was no line item in the budget or its supporting implementation document that removes the 2023 sunset of the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program. To date, over 30,000 scholarships have been handed out to children in failing schools, allowing them to improve their chances of academic success by going to a private or charter school. It’s an incredibly successful program that should continue. I am also disappointed to see the state is continuing with spending initiatives that cement Illinois’ position as the ‘abortion capitol of the United States.’”

* Sen. Simmons…

State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after the Illinois Senate approved a Fiscal Year 2024 budget on Thursday:

“This budget provides first in a generation rate increases for hospitals, federally qualified health centers, community clinics, as well as provides rate increases for crisis response and critical support services. These across the board increases will be felt in our communities as our constituents broadly access health care. Our 7th District safety net hospitals will also receive significant funding boosts to support the delivery of quality health care while supporting our health care workers. I am also thrilled to have secured two new line items in the budget for a total of $2.5 million for HIV/AIDS reduction efforts targeted to helping communities access life-saving PREP medications as well as STI screening.

“And by passing $85 million in increased funding to support homelessness prevention, permanent supportive housing, and outreach to those in need, we also are making progress in getting our unhoused neighbors housed. This is huge — having worked to pass legislation to shore up protections for affordable housing residents in our state, I am happy to see this timely new funding. Additional funding to help with teacher vacancies, higher education access, and additional EBF funding for our public schools is also a win for our communities.

“More locally, our 7th District neighborhoods will see increased funding on a hyper-local level supporting street-level violence prevention and community safety, investments in early childcare facilities, culturally competent mental health care for LGBTQ+ communities, services for refugee communities, and new funding for enrichment and mentorship programs for 7th District youth. And we also secured additional capital dollars that we are investing directly in aging school buildings, cultural institutions, food pantries, and more right here in the 7th District.

“I am thrilled with the passage of today’s budget. It supports our communities while putting our state on a path to long-term fiscal health and stability. ”

* Majority Leader Lightford…

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) declared the state’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget a positive investment for our state’s children – prioritizing education, youth employment and mental health.

“A person’s educational success begins the day they are born. The quickest way to fail a generation is by failing to prioritize their education,” said Lightford (D-Maywood). “In Illinois, I am proud to say we took a positive step toward ensuring our students aren’t failed by an unjust system.”

The budget – backed by Lightford – includes a $250 million investment into early childhood education. The funding will be used to expand preschool, stabilize the child care workforce, and provide more early intervention and home visiting programs.

Further, the budget includes additional MAP grant funding, ensuring everyone at or below the median income can go to community college free. This builds upon Lightford’s commitment to prioritize education from birth to college.

“As a General Assembly, we did what was right by the people of Illinois and fought for equitable funding and access to education,” said Lightford. “I was proud to vote for a budget that provides our youth with greater opportunities for success – from investing in early childhood education to ensuring higher education is more affordable and accessible.”

The budget also included investments into workforce development – particularly for teens and young adults. It passed the Senate Thursday.

* Senate President Harmon…

Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) issued the following statement after the Senate voted to pass a balanced budget:

“This budget continues the work Democrats have done to restore economic prosperity to our state. It encompasses our shared goals of responsible budgeting and paying down debt while investing in key priorities like education, violence prevention and affordable housing.

“This was a collaborative effort. I am proud of the work we did, and I look forward to the House sending this balanced budget to the governor so he can sign it into law.”

* Leader Sims…

Majority Caucus Appropriations Leader Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 budget:

“In keeping with our commitment to the people of Illinois, we have approved a budget that is balanced, responsible and invests in people in all corners of our state.

“As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I set a goal that our budget would work to solve the pressing economic issues facing low- and middle-income families. Because of our responsible fiscal approach, particularly the last few years, our state continues to have fiscal stability while caring for the people of our state.

“I am particularly proud of our investments in education, business attraction and development, public safety and in efforts to address the social determinants of health. This budget provides our frontline workers and institutions with the resources they need to best serve our communities, while at the same time supporting public safety measures to keep our communities safe. This budget invests in mental health and trauma informed services while also strengthening investments in violence prevention programs.

“It also further continues to set our state on a path of fiscal responsibility and invests in education from preschool to college.

“This budget sets us up for short- and long-term success and I remain committed to economically advancing the state of Illinois.”

* Illinois Municipal League…

“The Local Government Distributive Fund is an important tool to help Illinois cities, villages and towns pay for services like mandated pension benefits, critical infrastructure repairs, public safety and other important programs. We are pleased that the General Assembly recognizes the importance of LGDF to Illinois communities, and has chosen to increase the LGDF rate from 6.16% to 6.47%. We appreciate the increase and we are hopeful that LGDF will be put on a more rapid path to full restoration of 10% of the state’s total income tax revenue. The Illinois Municipal League will continue to advocate on this issue until LGDF is fully restored,” said IML Executive Director Brad Cole.

* IMA…

“A skilled, educated workforce is critical to the future of the manufacturing industry in Illinois, which is the largest contributor of any sector to the state’s Gross Domestic Product. We are encouraged by the additional investments in education, which will help to better prepare students for the high-tech, advanced manufacturing jobs that will grow our economy and move our state and nation forward,” said Mark Denzler, President & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “We proudly partnered with the Governor’s office and legislative leaders in securing $400 million to close major economic development deals and attract businesses to the Land of Lincoln, as well as expand programs to strengthen our state’s electric vehicle and clean energy ecosystem. These initiatives, along with the reinstatement of the Blue Collar Jobs Act and continued elimination of the franchise tax, will further aid economic development across the state, and we look forward to building on these efforts in the coming years.”

* Gov. Pritzker…

Following the Senate passage of the FY24 budget agreement, Governor JB Pritzker released the following statement:

“My thanks to President Harmon, Leader Elgie Sims, and all the members of the Senate who voted today to advance our fifth balanced budget. This budget makes transformative investments in the children and families of Illinois while building on our record of fiscal responsibility. I look forward to the House taking up this budget that will make childcare and education more accessible, healthcare more affordable, and our state’s business and economic position even stronger.”

* Sen. Holmes…

Illinois has seen four straight years of balanced budgets, paid down debt and received eight upgrades from credit rating agencies. Today, the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2024 budget that prioritizes education, public safety, job creation and business development, and health and human services. Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) released the following statement in response to today’s action:

“This budget is balanced and responsible. We’re making the annual full pension payment, with an additional $200 million — the first time since the plan was enacted in 1994 that the state will provide contributions above what is required.

“The focus on fiscal strength continues: this budget would pay off COVID-related debt, pay off over $4 million of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund advance and put over $1.9 billion into the Rainy Day Fund.

“The Local Government Distributive Fund will see an increase, and Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant funding is increased by $100 million for prospective college students. $20 million will go to the Fast-Track Workforce program to provide employee screening, recruitment and job training development to employers.

“I’m particularly pleased to see us make significant funding increases for public safety and law enforcement activities, as well as domestic violence programs. Making Illinois a safer place to live and work is fundamental so that our improved economy is a comfortable place to enjoy life with fewer security concerns.”

* And from Wednesday…

Few details are available about the budget agreement Governor JB Pritzker and the Democratic leaders have proposed without any Republican input but there is no question Illinois is again setting another spending record, according to the Illinois Freedom Caucus.

“Repeating the words ‘balanced budget’ over and over again does little to assure us the budget is indeed balanced. Furthermore, ‘balanced’ is not a synonym for responsible. The final budget that is likely going to pass will set yet another spending record in Illinois. Creating new programs and new line items in the budget does nothing to address the long-term budgetary issues facing our state. We are not addressing pension reform. There won’t be any meaningful property tax reforms and there won’t be any accountability measures in this budget to ensure taxpayers’ dollars are being spent wisely.

The budget process took place in a shroud of secrecy with no Republican involvement whatsoever. The process and the end product will be nothing more than the usual bloated budget that puts the needs of political insiders ahead of the best interests of the people. It is taxpayer money we are spending. The budget process should be a transparent and open process. Even rank and file Democrats had little say in this process. The people of Illinois deserve better than the corruption and lack of transparency in the budget process.”

       

20 Comments
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 12:37 pm:

    –Notably absent in the package is any sort of extension of the Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Act–

    It was already going to be hard to get this extended, even before the news released by the AG on the diocese this week.

    The majority of those benefits are going to Catholic Schools. If I recall correctly, it was around 64%.

    I can’t imagine anyone in either chamber wanted their name to be on the list of supporting that, much less voting for it, after Tuesday.


  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 12:42 pm:

    Countdown til these same Senate Republicans are sending out local press releases and attending ribbon cuttings for things they voted against.


  3. - H-W - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 12:42 pm:

    Re: IPI (I understand that they dislike this acronym):

    Dear IPI:

    If there are 1.9 million school aged children in Illinois, then 9,000 / 1,900,000 illustrates that few Illinois children (0.005) use the “choice” program that you are advocating. Clearly, it is a boutique program for which few apply.

    The eligibility guidelines are as follows (https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3820&ChapterID=8):

    “Eligible student” means a child who:
    (1) is a member of a household whose federal adjusted gross income the year before he or she initially receives a scholarship under this program, as determined by the Department, does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level and, once the child receives a scholarship, does not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level;
    (2) is eligible to attend a public elementary school or high school in Illinois in the semester immediately preceding the semester for which he or she first receives a scholarship or is starting school in Illinois for the first time when he or she first receives a scholarship; and
    (3) resides in Illinois while receiving a scholarship.

    The federal poverty guideline (2023) for a family of 4 is 30,000. 300% of that is $90,000. That is obviously not a low income family, as you suggest. Indeed, the median family income in IL is $72,500, indicating that this voucher is available to well over half of all Illinoisans. It is not limited to “low income families” as you suggest.

    If you wish to argue that low income families are disproportionately or even equally using this program, prove it. Calculate the average family income for the 9,000 users. These are public data. Prove your argument.

    In reality, very, very few Illinois families are using this 5-year old program. I am certain it has failed to serve the poor, because the program has failed to serve Illinois families generally (again, less than one-half of one percent of Illinois students are utilizing this program, and many of the 9,000 are not poor).

    Please find another ax to grind. Sincerely. H-W


  4. - Stormsw7706 - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 12:51 pm:

    Just curious? Is the Paprocki from IPI related to the Springfield archbishop ?


  5. - Dirty Red - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    LGDF payments went in just a few short years from being something Republicans sought to unconstitutionally withhold to increasing by $20 million. Both of those efforts were conducted behind closed doors, and both times teed up the Democrats for a victory lap. How fitting.


  6. - Dirty Red - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    = IPI related to the Springfield archbishop =

    No.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 12:58 pm:

    It should be noted that IPI is a failed institution where IPI “Superstars” when given the opportunity to govern, failed so miserably that their tenures measured in week in many cases, failures too embarrassing to even find a route back to IPI.

    Note too the Jeanne Ives’ budget she wanted, all but copying IPI wants, with the only redeeming qualities being it’s utter rejection and the owning of such deep cuts, callous never did it justice in a description.

    They are a grifting machine, IPI, with the lucky there reaping that grift.

    They are not serious actors in “policy”

    To the SGOP… don’t show up to ribbon cuttings, tout programs, or celebrate fundings from this budget.

    You were Red. You celebrate that today, own it the days coming


  8. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 1:17 pm:

    “Don’t show up to ribbon cuttings.”

    Please, Fowler can’t grab Pritzker’s coattails fast enough.


  9. - Steve - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 1:28 pm:

    The IPI can talk tax scholarships but Illinois isn’t going to support school choice like many other states . It is what it is. Most Illinois voters don’t care about 9000 users of the program. Most suburbs are content with what they have. There may be a movement in other states for vouchers and choice but not here. The other day , someone involved in public education told me that CPS spends more money per pupil than New Trier (I assumed this guy knew more than me about this). That’s what people want, and they like the results.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 1:30 pm:

    ===told me that===

    Use the Google key, then you’ll know one way or another


  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 1:35 pm:

    New Trier - $36,941

    CPS - $29,400


  12. - Steve - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 1:38 pm:

    OW, you are right . I should have looked this one up.

    https://www.publicschoolreview.com/illinois/new-trier-township-high-school-district-203/1728200-school-district


  13. - DTownResident - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 1:38 pm:

    It IpI members or other people donating to the private school scholarships will not donate because they lose outsized tax breaks, then the issue is not with Illinois but with themselves.


  14. - Back to the Future - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 1:52 pm:

    Hard to believe CPS spends that much money per student.
    In terms of Invest for Kids- still time for the parents to get something done in Springfield. They should not give up.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 1:57 pm:

    ===Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Act, which is set expire Dec. 31, 2023.===

    Fund it to June 30, 2024, end it after.

    The school year should not be interrupted, each institution that wants these monies can try to find these folks and appeal to their “pure altruism” and give going forward


  16. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 2:08 pm:

    “the first time since the plan was enacted in 1994 that the state will provide contributions above what is required”

    Are the pension doomsayers glad at all, or is there always a dark lining to a silver cloud, always a fault to be found?


  17. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 2:42 pm:

    –The school year should not be interrupted–

    It’s not going to interrupt the school year when it ends. The scholarship program is a tax credit. It ends on the last day of the year for the full tax year the credit can be claimed. A tax credit applied to a 23-24 school year scholarship is given based on applications taken and fully paid for in 23.

    Extending it to June 30th, would simply mean all the schools involved would suddenly change their enrollment deadlines for the 24-25 school year, to have to be in by June 30 2024. Functionally that would extend it for another year. Some private schools would probably even try to find a way to front-load an entire childs track from grades 1-8 with a single enrollment.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 3:12 pm:

    ===It’s not going to interrupt the school year when it ends===

    “Why take a chance?”

    Plus it takes off the table “you stopped it mid school year”

    If you’re suggesting that folks will game a system, welcome to the party, programs like these face that possibility at any time, especially when it ends.

    Once it ends, if it ends, those extra months won’t matter. It’ll just be over, “it’s tax breaks” right?


  19. - Dunwich Snorer - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 3:54 pm:

    ===Hard to believe CPS spends that much money per student.===

    Even so, they are still underfunded at 68% adequacy according to the EBF formula–a shortage of about $1.8 billion.
    https://www.illinoisreportcard.com/District.aspx?districtId=15016299025


  20. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Friday, May 26, 23 @ 4:21 pm:

    A Paprocki not happy because some Catholic schools might not get some state money.
    What a kwindydink.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for Juneteenth
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