Published on April 11, 2022 10:42

Last updated on April 11, 2022 10:42

Written by Greg Sapp

On the last day of the spring legislative session, a budget for the coming fiscal year was enacted. The measure, described as a balanced budget by Governor JB Pritzker, totals more than $46 billion.

(PRITZKER)

The governor released this statement after the budget was put in place:

“Thank you for joining us this morning. It’s been a great day.

We end this legislative session with huge and historic victories for the people of Illinois:
Gas, grocery and property tax relief, more support for local governments than ever before, massive staffing improvements for residents of our nursing homes, debt reduction at short and long term and a balanced budget for the fourth consecutive year.

We have achieved our state’s strongest fiscal position in generations, and we prioritize the education, public safety, health and well-being of Illinois residents. Just a few years ago, some people said that what we have achieved is impossible. But it’s true. Our backlog of bills is paid. Our pension commitments are reduced. Our rainy day fund is recovering. And we’re providing $1.8 billion in direct tax relief to the people we serve.

This budget is for anyone who is worried about the rising price of groceries, which seem more and more expensive with each visit to the store.

This is for those who can only put $10 in your gas tank at a time because filling the whole tank stretches you too much.

This is for those who have been strained under the weight of property taxes, to see them rise uninterrupted.

This is for our teachers, who have taken on so much in the last two years of the pandemic – and who have volunteered to help students in need by spending their own money on them.

This is for the 97% of filers who will receive a direct check to help pay their monthly bills.

This budget – and its $1.8 billion in tax relief – is for you, the people of Illinois.

I have always believed that the state government should, first and foremost, help Illinois working families and those who have too often been left out and left behind. This budget prioritizes them.

We have accomplished a lot in this budget, and I would like to thank some of my partners in the General Assembly:

President Chris Welch and President Don Harmon; House budget leaders Greg Harris, Will Davis, Lisa Hernandez and Mike Zalewski, and Senate Elgie Sims and Bill Cunningham, and their teams; and I wish to express my gratitude to the members of the General Assembly who have once again joined me in the inglorious but vital work of righting our fiscal ship and serving the best interests of the people of Illinois.

For the fourth year in a row, I will enact another balanced budget that continues to reverse the damage caused by decades of fiscal mismanagement. Responsible budgeting in Illinois is now the rule, not the exception.

Let me tell you what it looks like:

We improve our schools and classrooms by investing in our teachers and our children. With this budget, school districts in Illinois will see an additional $518 million with full support for evidence-based funding and payment for textbooks, classroom improvements, counseling staff and teachers.

We’re making child care more affordable than ever and providing college scholarships, vocational and technical training to more than 155,000 students.

We’re making it more attractive and affordable for small businesses in Illinois by revitalizing shopping corridors and creating jobs by expanding our incredibly popular Main Street Grant Program – helping small towns and cities across the state to ‘other. We’re suspending licensing fees for bars and restaurants and giving them grants to help them recover. Our hospitality industry is bolstered by its own grant program. And we’re investing in employer training and renewing tax credits to attract and grow new businesses while providing new benefits for startups.

This budget will make it a safer state for everyone who lives in Illinois. We hire the largest class of state police cadets in history, fund the Gang Crime Witness Protection Program, and provide mental health support to police officers across the state. Through our Reimagine Public Safety program, we are tackling the root causes of violence by expanding our successful youth summer jobs initiative and proven violence intervention programs. Illinois has never seen such a robust effort to fight and solve crime.

The day I was sworn into this office, I said we would restore fiscal responsibility to this state.

With the foundations we’ve laid over the past three years, we’re able to inject an unprecedented $1 billion into the state’s Rainy Day Fund and an additional $500 million into our pensions, which saving taxpayers nearly $2 billion. And most importantly, we can do all of this AND return $1.8 billion in tax relief to the families who need it most.

I want to end this morning with a success that has been lost in the flood of news over the past two weeks.

It wasn’t that long ago that interest payments to cover our government employee health insurance exceeded $274 million – not the debt itself, but the interest alone – the consequences of giving a kicking the box for decades.

This legislative session, Democrats have teamed up to repay that lingering liability. This frees up more than a quarter of a billion taxpayer dollars each year for priorities we all care about, like tax relief, school funding, mental health care, addiction treatment and safety. public.

Many politicians talk about getting rid of waste; the people who are here today actually do.

Today in Illinois, we are using state resources as they should be: not sending hundreds of millions of dollars to creditors for interest, but rather supporting schools, roads, and public safety. To improve the lives of our residents. To make our future brighter.

Before I turn the page, I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to Chef Greg Harris. Illinois State is unquestionably stronger because of its service. This is the last comprehensive budget he will negotiate before retiring, and what a testament to his years of hard work, dedication and focus on the most vulnerable people in our state. Greg, we couldn’t have done this without you.”

St.Sen. Darren Bailey criticized the measure.

(BAILY)

Here are his comments: