Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled his budget proposal in an address before the General Assembly on Feb. 19, seeking $1.6 billion in new spending which relies on getting the Governor’s income tax increase approved.
Lawmakers expressed concerns that that in order to fund $1.4 billion for priorities like schools, health care and public safety, the Governor’s tax increase must be approved. Under the state’s revamped school funding formula from 2017, the state is statutorily required to increase school funding by $350 million a year. Under Pritzker’s proposal, only $200 million is guaranteed, leaving $150 million in school funding in jeopardy.
Senate Republican lawmakers contend that what Illinoisans need is more fiscal leadership and responsibility. They point to last year’s budget process as a road map that proves working collaboratively can produce a budget that meets the needs of Illinois citizens, and funds these priorities without a tax increase.