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Immediate reactions to Governor’s budget address come in quickly

Illinois State Capitol, Springfield, Ill. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

From State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea):

“This year’s budget is an opportunity to support our schools, reinforce our public safety efforts and address the challenges facing working families. I’m encouraged by the impact of our recent budgets, which have made historic investments in our infrastructure, secured multiple credit rating upgrades and improved our state’s financial outlook. By taking a balanced approach, we can continue this positive momentum. I intend to take a close look at the governor’s proposal and will continue to engage area stakeholders as we work together to move our state forward.”


From Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL):

“JB Pritzker announced that he wants Illinois taxpayers to pay an additional $182 million out of our pockets to provide welfare for illegal immigrants, who illegally crossed our southern border in violation of our immigration laws as a result of the Biden Border Crisis.

“Pritzker said that every Illinois resident needs to step up and provide free services for illegal immigrants, but he did not announce that Hyatt Hotels would be providing free hotel rooms to shelter illegal aliens at no cost to taxpayers.

“Pritzker is placing this burden on working families and bizarrely blaming President Trump, even though Joe Biden has occupied the Oval Office for three years and Biden is the one who opened our southern border to this invasion by reversing all of President Trump’s border security policies.

“Pritzker argued that Congress should pass amnesty legislation, which would worsen the crisis by offering ‘asylum amnesty’ and a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants who are seeking free housing, healthcare, welfare, and benefits from US taxpayers.

“Pritzker is violating the promise he made to voters by putting the working families and taxpayers of Illinois last and forcing the burden of welfare for illegal immigrants on the people suffering the most from Joe Biden’s inflation crisis.”


From State Rep. Kevin Schmidt (R-Millstadt):

“Instead of looking out for our own citizens, the Governor is focusing on funding for migrants. The most vulnerable citizens of Illinois are paying the price for his careless overspending. We need a budget that’s fair, responsible, and puts Illinoisans first for a stable future. If we continue to operate on unrealistic budgets that aren’t addressing the needs of our own citizens, Illinoisans will hurt for it. I will do everything in my power to fight for a budget that will serve the people of our great state.” Rep. Schmidt proudly serves the people of the 115th District.


State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) lead budget negotiator for the House Democratic Caucus, released the following statement:

“House Democrats are focused on developing a responsible and compassionate budget that uplifts our most vulnerable, invests in our future, and reflects the concerns facing families across Illinois.

“In recent years, we have taken significant steps forward to stabilize and strengthen Illinois’ finances – restoring Illinois to A-level credit, eliminating debt, and better positioning the state to handle future challenges. We’ve done all this while also investing in our schools, and caring for residents from children to the elderly. This budget will be another opportunity to continue this positive momentum, while further supporting job creation and economic development.

“Today is the first step in a longer process as we work toward crafting a final document. We look forward to reviewing Governor Pritzker’s priorities in detail and engaging stakeholders in the conversations ahead.”


State Rep. Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) says the Governor’s budget again increases spending, asks taxpayers to pay more, and prioritizes illegal immigrants over the needs of Illinois citizens.

 

The Governor’s proposed budget is $52.7 billion, representing a significant increase from the $50.4 Billion budget approved last May. Without the Governor’s proposed tax and fee increases, the budget would be about $750 million short.

 

Niemerg said increasing spending beyond existing revenue is wrong.

 

“On the one hand, the Governor wants to end the grocery tax because families are hurting, and on the other hand, he is asking taxpayers in Illinois to pony up more for his lavish spending,” Niemerg said. “We don’t need to create new programs and new spending. We need to reduce costs and lower taxes – not raise them.”

 

Niemerg said he is opposed to continued spending on illegal immigrants. 

 

“We can’t solve the immigration crisis at the state level,” Niemerg said. “We need to end the Sanctuary State policies in Illinois, and we need to support the Governors on the southern border who are on the front lines of this crisis, and we must join them in calling for border security. This crisis is one of our own making. It can be solved. We need the political will to get it solved.”

 

Finally, Niemerg said the problem with education is not a lack of funds but a lack of accountability coupled with a woke agenda that takes time and money away from actual education.

 

“We don’t need to create new line items in the budget,” Niemerg said. “We need to bring back the Invest in Kids program that helped thousands of kids escape failing schools. We need more accountability in the limited education dollars we spend. Finally, we need to stop the indoctrination in our classrooms and focus on the building blocks kids need to succeed.”


State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) says he has consistently warned the bill for all of the recent spending excess during the pandemic would eventually come due and with the Fiscal Year 2025 budget on the horizon, that day is today.

“We are staring at a $750 million hole in the budget and not only was the shortfall not even mentioned in the Governor’s speech, but there was also no plan proposed to fix it,” Wilhour said. “The Governor’s spending has gone from $39.5 billion in 2019 to $52 billion in 2025. This spending is not sustainable and, of course, there will be tax and fee increases on the table to address the budget shortfall. What is sad is that if we had at any time in the last 10 years implemented even modest spending reforms, we would be in much better shape financially today.”

Wilhour said the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2025 stands at $52.7 billion, more than $2 billion more than the $50.4 billion signed into law last June. In light of the budget shortfall, Wilhour says we need spending reduction and he is adamantly opposed to the Governor’s request for $182 million more for illegal immigrants.

“Everyone wants to be humane, but the notion that we are obligated to take everyone who wants to come into our country is absurd,” Wilhour said. “Sorry, JB, but Gov. Abbott is not the problem. Christians are not the problem. The problem is Illinois’ status as a Sanctuary State. If JB Pritzker and Mayor Brandon Johnson really cared about ending the migration to Illinois, then they would end Illinois’s and Chicago’s Sanctuary State status. The issue of immigration is one the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago cannot solve. We need to end the practice of not cooperating with federal immigration officials. We need to stop funding programs for people who are not citizens of this state. And we need our leaders to help the Governors on the southern border by advocating for better border security.”

Finally, Wilhour said he would support the Governor’s proposal to end the sales tax on groceries.

“I said at the time he put a temporary stop to the sales tax on groceries that we should have stopped it permanently,” Wilhour said. “The penny tax on groceries is punitive for working families and we should end it in Illinois.”


IPHCA Response to Governor Pritzker’s Annual State of the State and Budget Address 

Today, Governor Pritzker delivered his sixth annual State of the State and Budget Address to the Illinois General Assembly and the people of the State of Illinois. We were pleased to hear the Governor reiterate his commitment to strengthening Illinois’ healthcare system and addressing health related social needs.  

We are thankful that the annualized community health center Medicaid rate increase, as well as funding for the Equity and Representation in Health Care Act (ERHCA), was included in the Governor’s proposed budget. Both measures make necessary investments in community health centers to strengthen service capacity and the ability to attract and retain healthcare professionals in underserved communities.  

We share in the Administration’s commitment to health equity. As the association representing the state’s largest network of primary care providers in medically underserved areas, we stand ready to support the effort to improve maternal health outcomes and reduce racial disparities. Further, we echo Governor Pritzker’s praise for community-based models of care as a vital part of the solution to eliminating racial inequities in birth outcomes and pregnancy-related mortality. In particular, we uplift his recognition of IPHCA member organization, PCC Wellness, whose birthing center was among the first in the nation to offer birthing options at a community health center.  

We also applaud the Governor for his leadership on reducing barriers to accessing care such as introducing utilization management reforms and accountability measures for network adequacy requirements. Additionally, we are excited to hear about plans for enhancing food access as well as increased investment in housing and early childhood development which are important social determinants of health.  

Lastly, as funds begin to flow to ramp up efforts to transition migrants to more permanent housing, health centers will continue to be instrumental in easing the transition. From helping our new neighbors connect to a medical home, to accessing care, and to beginning to build roots in the community, health centers have played a key role in providing health screenings, immunizations, prenatal care, and medications among other services and would benefit from increased investment to sustain their efforts as well.  

In recent years, the Association has proudly partnered with the Administration and the legislature to advance value-based care, improve health equity, and respond to public health and humanitarian crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and migrant arrivals. IPHCA looks forward to continuing to work together with the Governor, his administration, and the General Assembly to ensure that all Illinoisans have access to high-quality, integrated care so that they are equipped to live well and thrive.  

IL Primary Health Care Association (IPCHA) is a nonprofit trade association that serves as the voice of and champion for Illinois’ 54 community health centers, which serve more than 1.5 million patients annually across more than 430 service sites in medically underserved rural, urban, and suburban areas. 


TMA Responds to Governor’s State of the State Address on Behalf of Illinois’ Small and Midsize Manufacturers

TMA’s Vice President Highlights How Manufacturers Face a Different Reality Than What Illinois Governor Pritzker Painted in the State of the State Address

Technology & Manufacturing Association Executive Vice President Dennis LaComb issued the following statement today in response to Governor Pritzker’s State of the State Address:

“We were hoping to hear from the governor today about progress being made to help Illinois’ small and midsize manufacturers compete, grow, and create jobs. Instead, we heard about more tax giveaways to big out-of-state businesses, more spending initiatives, and added taxes and regulations that will stifle economic growth while increasing costs on employers.

Manufacturers in our state are facing real problems. We’re paying more for energy, materials, and regulation compliance than ever before. We’re paying the 2nd highest corporate income tax rate in the nation. Adding to the stress, many manufacturers are dealing with the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) fallout. And the estate tax unfairly punishes multi-generational manufacturers. Yet it seems, if you’re not a Chinese-owned battery plant or big Michigan-based auto manufacturer, you don’t matter to this governor.

There are real, tangible things we can work on together to strengthen manufacturing in Illinois, if the governor is willing to listen to the bipartisan members of our Small and Midsize Manufacturers (SaMM) Caucus in Springfield. They’ve put forward positive, common sense legislation to help our industry and its workforce. We call on the governor and legislative leaders to work with us to help create more good paying jobs for Illinoisans.”

Founded in 1925, the Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA) is an independent trade organization exclusively focused on assisting small and midsize manufacturers by providing a diverse portfolio of benefits and services, including: community, information, training, resources, and advocacy. TMA has nearly 1,000 members representing over 35,000 manufacturing employees and more than 25 million square feet of manufacturing plant.


The Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, representing community providers of services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and serious mental illnesses, today issued the following statement after Gov. Pritzker presented his 2025 state budget proposal:

“We appreciate the Governor and his administration working with the disability community and ultimately deciding not to pursue a proposed decrease in hours for Direct Service Professionals (DSP) in the proposed budget, an action that would have had severe consequences for the many people our members serve. It’s clear through communications with individuals with disabilities, frontline staff, disability providers, and legislators, they understood that decision would have taken Illinois backwards after our recent progress to better fund services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
 
With this decision in mind, and while the Administration is simultaneously seeking to exit the Ligas Consent Decree and proposing to increase state revenues, we are deeply concerned that the Governor’s budget proposal does not include any increases in wage rates for DSPs. We do not see a path to exiting the consent decree, of which the state has been out of compliance since 2017, without minimally achieving full funding of the Guidehouse rate study, which indicated higher wages and benefits for frontline staff as its top priority.
 
Disability service providers throughout Illinois continue to face serious pressures and obstacles to attracting DSP workers to provide services, including additional increases in the minimum wage this year and next to $15 an hour on January 1, 2025. Regrettably, the proposed budget’s lack of a DSP wage rate increase represents a significant step backwards in our ability to provide competitive wages and benefits for frontline staff.
 
This spring, with the leadership of Representative Michelle Mussman and Senator Karina Villa, we will pursue an increase in DSP wages of $3 an hour, to help us stay ahead of these pressures and put us more in line with the progress envisioned by the Guidehouse study two years ago.
 
We hope the Governor and Legislature will recognize the ongoing struggles of service providers and support this wage increase in the final budget later this spring.”
 
Josh Evans
President and CEO
Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities
Springfield


Transportation Coalition calls budget proposal wrong direction for Illinois

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition, an umbrella organization of business, labor and infrastructure groups that advocates for federal and state transportation funding, today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Pritzker’s proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget plan:
 
“We are disappointed in and cannot support the Governor’s budget proposal to cut transportation funding after just a few years of Rebuild Illinois’ important investment in our state transportation infrastructure.
 
The Governor’s proposal calls for the Road Fund to cover $175 million in spending on public transportation operations in the Chicago region that have been historically paid for by the state’s General Revenue Fund. Road Funds are dedicated for road, bridge, and transit capital improvements. We cannot support this proposal and ask the Legislature to reject any plans that pit transportation needs against each other.
 
The $175 million loss in road funding would multiply to more than a $1 billion impact in lost road and bridge improvements over the next few years. After decades of inadequate funding, Governor Pritzker and the Legislature invested billions of dollars to improve thousands of miles of roads and bridges – including the largest road program in state history this year. Illinois cannot afford to move backward now.
 
This policy change does not include any new money for transit operations, nor does it fully meet the need for transit operations. What this proposal does is take money away from other transportation needs, making it impossible to deliver on the promise of sustainable transportation for all modes of transportation.

We encourage the Governor and Legislature to develop and support a new state budget that strongly funds all our transportation infrastructure. Rebuild Illinois is working to put our state on a better path, and we must not bring that progress to a halt this summer.”
 
TFIC Co-Chairs:
Patrick Hosty, Executive Director of the Chicago Laborers District Council-LMCC
Kevin Burke, Executive Vice President of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association


 

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