$42.2B state budget proposal, Illinois election bill pass, move to Gov. Pritzker's desk

Craig Wall Image
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Illinois budget 2021: Proposal, election bill pass, move to Gov. JB Pritzker's desk in Springfield
An Illinois budget proposal and election bill passed early Tuesday morning in Springfield. Now they move to Gov. JB Pritzker's desk.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Governor JB Pritzker is praising the new budget that Illinois lawmakers passed early Tuesday morning.

The House ended its overtime session shortly after 2:30 a.m. sending lawmakers home. Their Senate counterparts are now returning to wrap things up on the other side.

The $42.2 billion spending package does not raise individual taxes but corporations will be paying more.

RELATED: Pritzker budget address: Proposal includes closing corporate tax loopholes, no income tax hike as partisan battle brews

"We Democrats are investing in priorities that will grow and revitalize our economy, improving our fiscal outlook dramatically and reducing tax expenditures on the wealthiest corporations, 308 it's the Democrats that are getting the state's fiscal house in order," said Prtizker.

The budget calls for spending $7.4 billion on human services, $1.9 billion in higher education and public safety, and restores $350 million additional in public school funding that was skipped last year.

RELATED: IDES asks for millions more in budget; plans to reopen offices, partially virtually

Republicans are critical of the plan for eliminating more than half a billion in business incentives.

"In order to balance the budget, it relies on over $600 million in tax increases on Illinois businesses. These are changes that affect business's ability to recover from the pandemic," said State Rep. Tom Demmer, Deputy Minority Leader.

The budget does provide $570 million for small businesses from federal COVID-19 relief funds.

"My hope is we'll end up with a good energy bill, we were very close as of last night and so I'm hopeful," said Prtizker.

Ethics reforms which the governor called a good first step, are being labeled a cosmetic paint job by a government watchdog group.

"In the time that it's taken to get this done, 10 state officials or associates of state officials have been indicted," said Madeleine Doubek, Executive Director, Change Illinois

"We have accomplished, I would say, quite a bit; it has been a very successful session," House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch said. "No. 1, we have a balanced budget on time. It helps our state's most vulnerable, and puts us on a path to our fiscal health and recovery, really believe that this budget is going to help move Illinois in a positive direction"

Lawmakers also passed an ethics reform package that bans them from lobbying for six months after leaving the general assembly.

They also pushed back next year's March 15 primary until June 28, due to the census delays.

What did not pass was an energy bill that would have affected ComEd's nuclear and coal plants.

They also did not pass a bill to establish an elected school board for Chicago.

Republicans were offering their own take on this session later Tuesday, frustrated by how federal dollars are being spent.

"Instead of prioritizing something like unemployment insurance, which affects every employee and employer across the state, we saw a billion dollars in capital projects that came from Democrat-only member requests," said Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon.