On Wednesday, January 2, 2022, Governor JB Pritzker delivered his State of the State/Budget Address from the Old State Capitol Building in Springfield. The Governor was expected to deliver the speech at the State Capitol Building with House and Senate members in attendance, but this week’s session was cancelled because of the winter storm and the speech was moved to the alternate venue.
This is intended to be a brief overview of the Governor’s remarks. For more specific information about the Governor’s proposed State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023 Budget, please review the official materials available via this link. Please note that the Governor is not proposing a reduction to the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) nor is he proposing a property tax freeze.
The budget proposal projects $42.367 billion in base General Fund revenue for SFY2023. This is a $460 million decrease from SFY2022 revised base estimates. Individual income taxes are expected to increase by $889 million in SFY2023. Corporate income tax revenues and sales tax revenues are projected to decrease $252 million and $127 million respectively. Federal revenue forecasts equal $4.045 million. This is a reduction of $741 million from SFY2022 (mostly attributed to the end of enhanced federal Medicaid match). Revised revenue estimates now forecast Illinois will have a $1.7 billion surplus for SFY2022.
The Governor used his speech, his final budget address before the November 2022 election, to acknowledge the challenges presented by the pandemic and thank health care workers for their service. He touted Illinois’ leadership in achieving high vaccination rates among its residents, highlighted that Illinois schools have remained “safe and open,” discussed the financial toll meted out by the pandemic and how state government provided assistance such as helping with child care expenses and aid to renters. He also praised Illinois’ job growth.
The Governor harkened back to his first State of the State address in 2019 that was delivered amidst the reality of a dire outlook for the State’s finances. He juxtaposed this previous state of affairs with an update on the State’s improved financial metrics, which he offered were results of his policies and promises kept. He stated that Illinois’ fiscal surplus would exist even without the federal dollars received during the pandemic.
The Governor detailed specific measures taken by his administration to manage Illinois’ finances during the pandemic. These financial management strategies were intended to increase efficiency and reduce costs. He outlined several proposals from his SFY2023 budget that will further strengthen the State’s financial condition. These proposals are as follows:
- Making a SFY2023 annual pension payment that is $500 million above the minimum amount due and expanding the pension buy-out program to reduce long-term liabilities.
- Increasing the amount of revenue available in the State’s rainy day fund.
- Paying off the State’s liabilities to the College Illinois Program in full.
- Anticipated sale of the Thompson Center, streamlining state government office space and reducing the square foot cost of existing office space.
- Continuing to pay the State’s bills in a timely manner while avoiding another backlog of unpaid bills to those who do business with the State.
In summary, the Governor proposed increasing investments in the following areas:
- Early Childhood Development
- K-12 Education
- Higher Education
- Child Welfare
- Public Safety
The Governor also referenced policies to assist small businesses by extending several existing programs.
Governor Pritzker also proposed policies intended to ease the impact of rising inflation rates. His “Illinois Family Relief Plan” includes the following proposals:
- Freezing the gas tax for one year without affecting any road projects.
- Eliminating the state sales tax on groceries for one year while reimbursing local governments for the lost revenue.
- Doubling the state property tax deduction to offer property tax relief.
ISACo staff will review the Governor’s proposed budget in detail and work with the Governor’s Office and state legislators to promote and protect county interests.