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Pritzker: Deal in place for state budget


Thursday, May 25, 2023  |  Article  |  Will Stevenson

– Governor JB Pritzker says there’s a deal on the state budget.


Pritzker claimed at a news conference in Springfield the budget is balanced for the fifth year in a row.


“From the beginning, I vowed to work with the General Assembly, and restore fiscal sanity to state government after decades of mismanagement, to eliminate the overdue bill backlog, to pay down debt, and to reduce the structural deficit,” said Pritzker.


Pritzker says the bill backlog is a thing of the past, and the budget provides for, among other things, more education spending and working to fill a teacher shortage.


“Our record is clear: $10.5 billion of debt paid down, including $450 million in this budget alone to pay off old tobacco settlement bonds, provide additional pension payments, and another $90 million in this budget to further reduce accounts payable.”


State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth of Peoria was one of the lead budget negotiators for House Democrats.


Since this is the end of the legislative session, Republicans could likely vote against the plan, and claim as they have before that there was not enough time to read it before a vote on it, likely in the coming days.


This story may be updated.


STATE BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS (Source:  Governor JB Pritzker’s office)


Fiscal Responsibility – 5th balanced budget


This budget builds on four years of historic fiscal progress with balanced budgets, eight credit rating upgrades, a Rainy Day Fund set to surpass $2 billion, the elimination of the bill backlog, and $1 trillion in GDP

$200 million additional pension payment beyond what’s required, bringing total pension stabilization investments to $700 million

$450 million to pay off rail-splitter bond debt – saving the state $60 million in interest and virtually eliminating all short and medium-term debt





Early Childhood

Smart Start IL — $250 million to fund the first year of the Governor’s early childhood plan with funding increases to eliminate preschool deserts, stabilize the childcare workforce, expand the Early Intervention Program and Home Visiting programs, plus funding to begin the overhaul of the childcare payment management system

$50 million for early childhood capital improvements


$350 million for K-12 evidence-based funding formula

$45 million for the first year of a three-year pilot to fill teacher vacancies

$3 million to expand access to computer science coursework

$1.6 million to launch Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library statewide

Higher Education

$100 million in additional MAP grant funding, ensuring everyone at or below the median income can go to community college for free

$100 million increase for public universities ($80.5 million) and community colleges ($19.4 million) – the highest increases in more than two decades



Fighting Poverty


HOME ILLINOIS — $85 million increase, bringing state funding to over $350 million, to support homelessness prevention, affordable housing, outreach, and other programs

$20 million investment in a new Illinois Grocery Initiative to expand grocery access to underserved rural towns and urban neighborhoods



Health and Human Services


Nearly $75 million increase for DCFS to hire 192 staff, expand training and protection, increase scholarships for youth in care, and improve facilities

$22.8 million in funding to begin implementing the new Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative

$18 million increase to support reproductive health initiatives

$24 million for a rate increase for home workers who assist the elderly, increased outreach to the elderly, and an increase for Adult Day Service

Continued funding for the $250 million Reimagine Public Safety Act to prevent gun violence and expanded funding for youth employment programs

$53.5 million to overhaul IDPH disease monitoring IT and prepare for future public health emergencies

Over $200 million increase to better serve Illinoisans with developmental disabilities



Economic Development


$400 million to close major economic development deals and attract businesses and jobs to the state

Expanded workforce development programs to build a pipeline in the industries of the future, like data center, EV, and clean energy

Taking another step towards phasing out of the franchise tax

$20 million to Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets Capital Program

$40 million for forgivable loans to launch more social equity cannabis businesses

$10 million to fund a “one-stop business portal” to foster entrepreneurship