Dear friends,

This week, Gov. JB Pritzker delivered his first budget address before the General Assembly. He laid out a vision for a balanced budget and, perhaps most importantly, indicated his willingness to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Having the governor propose a balanced budget is a positive step toward restoring stability to our state and ensuring long-term functionality within our government.  Illinois continues to face structural budget challenges and I am encouraged that Governor Pritzker is addressing them head on.

Below, I will share some highlights and details of the governor’s budget. You can also view the full document here.

As one of the Senate’s budget negotiators, I look forward to working with the administration and my colleagues in the Senate over the next few months to develop a budget that significantly moves Illinois toward a solution that achieves financial certainty and builds trust that Illinois is back on the right track.


Heather A. Steans
State Senator, 7th District

Education spending

Recommended spending increases for education in the governor’s budget include:
•    $375 million for K-12 schools ($25 million more than required by the Evidence Based Funding Formula)
•    $100 million for early childhood education
•    $50 million for MAP grants
•    $10 million for AIM HIGH grants
•    $55 millino for operational support at state universities
•    $13.9 million for operational support for community colleges

Human services spending

Recommended funding for vital human service programs includes:
•    Expanding eligibility for the Child Care Assistance Program to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level ($30 million increase)
•    $7 million increase for Early Intervention programs
•    Supporting nearly 700 new placements for individuals with developmental disabilities ($31.3 million)
•    $107 million to support minimum wage increases for programs including addiction treatment, child care, developmental disabilities, home services and other community services
•    $103.2 million increase to Home Services Program funding in recognition of a growing caseload
•    $6 million increase in funding for new lead screening cases
•    $65 million to address rate increases for workers within the Community Care Program and other senior support services

Revenue increases

In his address, Gov. Pritzker reiterated his support for a graduated income tax in Illinois. Illinois is one of only nine states with a flat tax rate, and it is time to update our tax structure so that an undue burden does not fall on lower-income and middle-class people.

This can only be accomplished with a Constitutional amendment and a ballot referendum, however, and Illinois needs revenue in the meantime to address the bill backlog that ballooned under Governor Rauner.

To that end, Gov. Pritzker proposed the following revenue increases to generate $1.1 billion:

•    Decouple from federal tax credit for repatriated corporate income - $94 million
•    Legalize sports wagering - $212 million (license fees)
•    Legalize adult-use cannabis - $170 million (license fees)
•    7 cent plastic bag tax - $20 million
•    Phase out School Scholarship Credits - $6 million (in year one)
•    Progressive tax structure for video gaming - $89 million
•    Cap retailer’s discount to $1,000 per month - $75 million
•    Increase cigarette tax by 30 cents per pack - $55 million
•    Tax e-cigarettes under same structure as tobacco cigarettes - $10 million
•    Managed care assessment program - $390 million
Click here to view the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget’s full analysis of the budget proposal.


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