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  • Writer's pictureJanet

FY25 Budget, Citizen Advisory Panels, Events & Happenings

In this Issue:

  • FY2025 Budget Highlights

  • Citizen Advisory Panels

  • Other Events and Happenings

    • Coffee & Conversation

    • Juneteenth Celebration

    • Town Hall


 

Dear Friends,

 

My colleagues and I in the Illinois legislature recently wrapped up the spring legislative session, which culminated in passing the fiscal year 2025 budget. This $53.1 billion budget, which Governor Pritzker signed into law this week, prioritized areas important to our community, like education, public safety, and economic growth, among many other areas. I’ve detailed the process and provided some of the budget’s highlights, below.

 

I hope you find that the budget reflects your values and priorities for our state and our community. The budget items that I advocate for, as well as the legislation I sponsor, come directly from conversations with you.

 

Much of that dialogue has come from our district’s Citizen Advisory Panels, which I’ll be hosting again later this month. Please feel welcome to join your neighbors and me at any of these topic-specific sessions, or any of the other community events my office and I have planned over this summer. We’ll also see many of you at your doors over these next few weeks, as our summer intern team and I fan out into the community to hear your feedback directly.

 

Hope to see you soon!

 

Janet

 

Below, the Summer 2024 intern team, wearing orange to honor survivors and stop gun violence.

 

FY2025 Budget Highlights

The 2025 fiscal year budget stands as Illinois’ sixth balanced budget in a row, with its $53.1 billion size representing a 1.3% increase over the prior year. A “balanced” budget indicates that our state’s plan for spending, which runs from July 1, 2024 to June 30, 2025 for FY25, matches its expected revenue. Like a household budget, a state budget is a plan that can change over time; in budgets from the last few years, for example, factors like slower than expected state worker hiring and higher than expected sales and income taxes have resulted in budget surpluses. A balanced budget also necessitates our state’s paying its pension and debt obligations (just like a balanced household budget pays for mortgage and car payments), the former of which was often bypassed entirely in unbalanced budgets from the not-so-distant past.

 

We’ve put much of those past year surpluses into making extra pension payments, retiring debt early, and saving money in a rainy day fund (called, more formally, the Budget Stabilization Fund). Those actions have led to nine credit rating upgrades from the three major credit ratings agencies, which feeds a virtuous cycle of lower interest rates, lower debt payments, and stronger financial health. I’m committed to continuing these actions, which included a $198 million deposit into the rainy day fund in FY25. Here are other highlights from this year’s recently passed budget:

 

Education

  • Additional $350 million to fund public schools through the Evidence Based Funding Program, which has resulted in millions of additional dollars to underfunded school districts in our 41st District: Indian Prairie 204, Wheaton-Warrenville 200, and Valley View 365.

  • $10.2 million in new funding for Career Technical Education Programs.

  • $75 million to add an additional 5,000 seats for preschool education, a part of the Smart Start Illinois early childhood initiative.

  • $3 million to fund the implementation of the Illinois Comprehensive Literacy Plan, an initiative for which many in our dyslexia-support community fought.

  • $1.1 billion, including a $32.7 million increase, for special education transportation grants.

  • Added $10 million to fund higher education MAP grants--now a $711 million program-- making college more affordable for more students and families.

 

Healthcare and Social Services

  • $10 million to clear $1 billion of medical debt with a 10-cent-on-the-dollar debt retirement program, providing relief to 300,000 Illinois households.

  • $138 million in new funding for senior care through the Community Care Program, allowing for rate increases, expanded hours, and 3,000 new service slots.

  • $13 million for Action on Campus, to address mental health and wellness at colleges and universities.

  • $2.6 billion to support services for those with developmental disabilities, including funds to support a $1-per-hour rate increase for Direct Support Professionals.

 

Public Safety

  • $5.3 million to fund two new Illinois State Police cadet classes, representing 100 additional troopers.

  • $60 million for camera grants to support local law enforcement agencies’ implementation of body cameras, in-car cameras, and data storage.

  • $8 million to support Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security efforts in preventing, preparing for, and responding to acts of terrorism.

 

Natural Resources

  • $54 million to support capital programs, such as the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grants, advocated for by our local park districts.

  • $12 million to continue Electric Vehicles rebate program.

  • $622 million in federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act capital appropriations for water infrastructure programs.

  • $20 million to fund new lead service line replacement grants.

 

Economic Growth & Development

  • $500 million invested into building a quantum computing campus, setting the stage for future private sector and federal government investments.

  • $10 million to fund Clean Energy Career and Technical Education program, supporting skill development for electric vehicle manufacturing technical education.

  • $25 million for business development grants that support expanding and relocating businesses to Illinois.

 

 

Funding the budget, include the programs highlighted above, relied mainly on existing revenue sources. Below are the main changes to tax policy that resulted in increased revenues:


  • Increase in annual Net Operating Loss (NOLs) deduction to $500,000 from $100,000: NOL deductions allow companies with losses from one year to reduce future year profits for tax purposes. Illinois’ $100,000 NOL deduction limit was set to expire at the end of 2024. Instead, we passed legislation to limit NOL deductions to $500,000, which resulted in $526 million of expected additional revenue, compared with if NOLs were uncapped.

  • The sports betting industry will move from a uniform 15% tax rate to a graduated one, starting with sportsbook operators making less than $30 million annually being taxed at 20%, reaching up to 40% for those earning over $200 million. In comparison, New York state taxes betting operations at 51%. These changes are projected to bring in $200 million in additional revenue.

  • The video gaming industry will see a 1 percentage point tax increase, which is expected to increase revenues by $35 million.

  • Retailers will now be capped at $1,000 on monthly tax discount reimbursements, which is expected to result in $101 million for state revenues and $85 million for local municipalities.

  • Re-renters of hotel rooms (such as Priceline.com and Expedia.com), will now be subject to existing state hotel taxes, closing a loophole that a number of other states have already closed and which is expected to raise $25 million.



A picture of the switch box, below, that I use to log my votes on the House floor.




Citizen Advisory Panels

At the beginning of each summer, my office and I host a series of Citizen Advisory Panels that guide our priorities and decisions when it comes to sponsoring legislation, negotiating budgets, and planning district events for the coming year. Each hour-long session covers a specific topic, including deep-dives into existing legislation and discussions about issues you’re seeing and experiencing that might be addressed by legislation or other state-level efforts.

 

No government or legislative experience is necessary to participate in these group. Each year, our district has been fortunate to benefit from a team of summer interns who do the hard work of researching your ideas and connecting with the experts that can help us address the issues you bring up. Please feel welcome to join any or all of the Citizen Advisory Panels, which we’ve scheduled over evenings through the months of June and take place at our district office in Naperville.

 

The links below will take you directly to each Panel's RSVP page.



Below, the Environment Citizen Advisory Panel meets in a previous summer session.




Other Events and Happenings

 

Coffee & Conversation

Each month, my office and I host a coffee & conversation event to catch-up on Springfield and local happenings. I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated the wide range of viewpoints represented at our coffees, which I know have helped me better represent our community and I hope have provided good food for thought for participants, too. Whether you have specific topics you want to discuss or just want to come and listen, please feel welcome to join us at our next chat.

 

What: June Coffee & Conversation

When: June 15, 10:00- 11:00 am

Where: 41st District Office, 475 River Bend Rd., Suite 500, Naperville




 

Juneteenth Celebration

The Juneteenth National Independence Day holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas finally learned of their freedom. It became a national holiday in June 2021 under President Joe Biden, becoming the 11th American federal holiday.

 

Our friends at Naperville Neighbors United will be holding a free Juneteenth Celebration to celebrate the holiday, and my office and I are excited to support their efforts as a sponsor. Bring your family and friends for an afternoon of music, activities, and uplifting speeches!

 

What: Juneteenth Celebration

When: June 15, 12:00 – 3:00 pm

Where: Rotary Hill, Naperville





Virtual Town Hall

Join me at our district’s semi-annual town hall, where I’ll give a run-down of this year’s legislative spring session. We’ll also look at the main areas in which my office and I are working in preparation for the fall veto session, January’s lame duck session, and the 2025 regular session.

 

We’ll hold this town hall virtually to make it easier to attend or listen in later when the time is more convenient for you. You can send in your questions ahead of time to make sure we cover your topics, and you can also submit questions during the town hall.

 

What: Town Hall

When: July 16, 7:00 pm

Where: Virtually via Facebook Live (account not required)



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