Senate Week in Review: June 3-7, 2024

Governor Signs Record-Spending Budget with Billion-Dollar Tax Hike

SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker’s government spending plan, which relies on $1 billion in tax increases, officially became the largest budget in state history when he signed it into law on June 5.

Despite bipartisan opposition, the controversial budget sets a new high-water mark for government spending, surpassing $53 billion. This eye-popping total represents a surge of almost $13 billion, or 32 percent since Pritzker took office.

This significant increase in government spending during Governor Pritzker’s tenure has been fueled by one-time COVID-19 relief funds and unexpectedly high state revenues. Despite warnings from Senate Republican lawmakers to exercise caution with these temporary funds, Governor Pritzker and his allies in the Legislature created new programs and permanently increased government spending.

Now that the federal money has run out, the Governor is raising taxes by almost $1 billion to fill the gap and fund around $1 billion in yearly spending on programs for non-citizens, including top-tier healthcare. 

While non-citizen spending continues to skyrocket, the new budget falls short for Illinoisans with developmental disabilities, K-12 and college students, and taxpayers who bear the brunt of the costs.

State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) argued that a budget is a statement of priorities, and while the Governor’s FY25 budget is the largest in state history, it clearly doesn’t prioritize the people of Illinois. 

Controversial Election Law Ruled Unconstitutional

A controversial new law that would drastically change the state’s election laws and reduce competition at the ballot box was ruled unconstitutional by a Sangamon County judge on June 5.

Senate Bill 2412, which was signed into law by Governor Pritzker in May, would make significant changes to the rules for an election process that is already well under way. Most notably, it would have ended the slating process currently taking place in districts throughout the state, effectively sidelining potential challengers to entrenched incumbents in November.

Republican lawmakers opposed the legislation when it came before the General Assembly in May, arguing that it was a blatant power grab by Illinois Democrat leaders intended to prioritize their control over the electoral process at the expense of Illinoisans’ rights to fair and open elections.

Dave Syverson

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