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What are the highlights of the FY2024 budget?From the June 22, 2023 newsletter: At the end of May, my colleagues and I in the General Assembly passed the new fiscal year 2024 budget, which runs from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024. This is a fiscally and socially responsible budget that shows we can be both responsible and compassionate for Illinois families, individuals, and businesses. This $50.6 billion budget plans for $50.4 billion in spending and a $183 million surplus after accounting for additional deposits into the Rainy Day Fund and early repayment of various pension and debt obligations. More details on those deposits and prepayments are below, plus highlights of other funded initiatives and programs. Fiscal Responsibility: Following eight credit ratings upgrades in the last two years, we continue to rebuild Illinois’ fiscal health and save for the future with the following actions: Additional $138M deposit to Budget Stabilization Fund (aka Rainy Day Fund). This is in addition to the $1B deposited in last year’s budget (the first deposits in 18 years), as well as the $850M transfer from the January 2023 supplemental budget. Extra $200M pension payment, bringing total FY24 deposit to $700M. This is on top of last year’s $500M extra payment. These payments that are above our required pension payments save taxpayers over $2B in long-term pension liabilities. Paid off $450M in Railsplitter Authority debt, saving $60M in interest. These were bonds issued in 2010 and backed by a 1998 tobacco company settlement with states. That settlement revenue is ongoing and will now go to support Illinois’ Medicaid program. Quality Education: We’re investing in our most valuable and precious resources by funding early childhood programs, K-12 schools, colleges & universities, and career and technical educational opportunities: $250M funding for Smart Start Illinois, a comprehensive program to build one of the best early childhood education systems in the nation. $350M in new funding for K-12 public schools, bringing total increase in funding over the last four years to more than $1.3B. These new monies have brought millions more dollars to school districts in our 41st District. Additional $100M funds for Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grants, effectively making community colleges free for students at or below median income. $25M for Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare (PATH) Workforce Program, to train for high demand, high pay positions in healthcare, such as nurses, medical assistants, medical laboratory technicians, and emergency medical technicians. $2M to establish new Illinois Graduate and Retain our Workforce (iGROW) program, which I sponsored and passed via HB1378 to create incentives for students to attend Illinois colleges and universities and then establish careers in Illinois in computer science, information technology and other related areas. Economic Development: This year’s budget invests in economic growth by focusing on start-ups, emerging technologies, and other job creators growing into new markets. $400M to close major economic development deals and attract businesses and jobs to Illinois. Specifically excludes expenditure on any relocation efforts by the Chicago Bears. Expansion of Angel Investment credit to 35% from 25% for investments made with business ventures owned by women, people of color, a person with a disability, or in a county with a population of fewer than 250,000. $20M funding for Fast-Track Workforce Program for employee recruiting and job training to support major relocation or workforce expansion efforts. $49M for tourism grants and advertising/promotions, to support tourism industry throughout the state, both with domestic and international visitors. $145M in new funds for Enterprise Fund Grant Program and Prime Sites Program, which provide capital to attract and retain businesses in Illinois that make substantial capital investments and job creation commitments. Public Safety: This year’s budget continues our work of keeping Illinois safe and thriving by creating new opportunities for youth and other community members, as well as giving police the resources they need. $250M for Reimagine Public Safety Act, created to prevent gun violence and expand youth employment programs. $200M for Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) grant program, which funds programs in five areas: civil legal aid, economic development, reentry, violence prevention, and youth development. $16M to hire and train additional 200 Illinois State Police troopers, representing two new cadet classes and bringing the total number of officers to 1,800. $30M for Law Enforcement Camera Grant Program, which funds in-car cameras, body cameras, and data storage for local law enforcement agencies. $10M for Law Enforcement Recruitment and Retention Fund, used for local law enforcement to fund new officer recruitment, retention programs, and mental healthcare for officers. Healthcare Accessibility: We’re funding programs and services to improve access to quality, affordable healthcare, particularly in underserved communities in cities, suburbs, and small towns alike. $250M increase to serve those with developmental disabilities, including raising reimbursement rates for caregivers to address workforce shortages. New funding of $22.8M for Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative, to address behavioral health services for children and adolescents. $18M for reproductive health initiatives, including physician training and consultations for high-risk patients. $24M to increase rates for home workers assisting the elderly, as well as increased outreach to elderly and expanded adult day service programs. $10M for Illinois health insurance marketplace, to expand access to health care. Sustainable Environment: Initiatives in the FY24 budget fund the most promising and needed areas of the green economy, driving new job growth as well as a sustainable future: Creation of new Hydrogen Fuel Replacement Tax Credit, which provides incentives for zero-carbon hydrogen fuel. New $10M investment for a Clean Energy Career and Technical Education pilot program for high school students. Reappropriation of $70M from Rebuild Illinois for transportation electrification and charging infrastructure.
How are disability services being funded by the Illinois government?The Illinois budget for the financial year 2024 supports disability services, here are some highlights: $250M increase to serve those with developmental disabilities, including raising reimbursement rates for caregivers to address workforce shortages Expands the Angel Investment credit from 25% to 35% if the investment is made in a business venture that is owned by women, people of color, a person with a disability, or in a county with a population of less than 250,000 $22.8 million in funding to begin implementing the new Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative The Illinois budget for the financial year 2023 includes multiple services for people with disabilities. Here are the specific services that most people are referring to when they ask this question: Increased grants for developmental disabilities services by $227 million (+10.6% over FY2022) Increased support for the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services by $11.9 million (+5.9% over FY2022) Increased support for the home services program by $129 million, which provides services to allow persons with disabilities to live independently in their homes (+14% over FY2022) Increased Ligas/Guidehouse compliance by $139 million, including continuation of the $1.50/hr DSP rate increase established in FY2022 implementing an additional $1/hr DSP rate increase starting 1/1/23 implementing the CILA rate calculator, which includes a regional wage adjuster and several other calls to action outlined in the Guidehouse Rate study
Illinois' debt is often talked about, how can there be a surplus?One way to look at it is as if Illinois is a household. The debt is like our mortgage. But we still also have our paycheck and general household expenses. Part of those expenses is that mortgage payment, where you pay a certain amount each month. Therefore, we can still have that mortgage (debt) and still be spending less then we are actually making. The surplus has been caused by higher than expected income from tax receipts, particularly sales tax.
What are the highlights of the FY2023 budget?Below is the graphic from the May 19th newsletter explaining some of the key elements of the budget, sorted by the District's key objectives.
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