Illinois House set to approve record-breaking state budget


The Illinois House is anticipated to reconvene on Tuesday to finalize the allocation of over $53 billion of state taxpayer funds.

The legislature had initially planned to adjourn on Friday before the holiday weekend. However, details of the budget emerged too late, prompting an extension into contingency days.

After sending representatives home late Saturday, House Speaker Chris Welch announced that the plan was coming together and that they would return after the Memorial Day holiday. The Senate remained and passed the plan late Sunday.

State Sen. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, described the budget as balanced and fair.

“Education, investing in educating our children, protecting our most vulnerable, keeping our communities safe while investing and modernizing our infrastructure,” Sims stated.

State Sen. Sally Turner criticized Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

“He’s keeping his promise to raise taxes on Illinois citizens by a billion dollars a year to fund the migrant crisis that he’s created,” Turner remarked.

The total amount allocated for non-citizen migrants in the budget is $971 million.

The package includes a spending plan exceeding $53 billion and a tax increase bill worth more than $1 billion. Additionally, state Sen. Cristina Castro has proposed a measure to eliminate the state’s 1% grocery tax.

“It also allows municipalities to impose a 1% sales tax on these items by ordinance or resolution,” Castro explained.

The measure further removes the requirement for some local governments to obtain referendum approval to impose a local sales tax, and it permits larger municipalities to increase the 911 surcharge, among other tax changes.

State Sen. Andrew Chesney, R-Freeport, criticized the measure as dishonest.

“Only in Springfield would we celebrate a measure that simply shifts the blame and responsibility to local municipalities and call it a tax cut,” Chesney asserted.

The measure has also been criticized for expanding tax increase authority to local governments.

The House has until May 31 to pass the plan with simple majorities. They are expected to return to the Capitol on Tuesday.

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