The biggest job facing lawmakers every year is passing the state budget. The budget passed late in the night and Senator Steve McClure says that the 3,200 page budget that was brought to the floor with just a few hours of review falls short of the mark. The plan is to spend $46 billion during the new fiscal year. Senator McClure says there is a severe lack of transparency.
With over $1.8 billion in tax relief, some provisions include lifting the one percent grocery tax for a year, and delaying the gas tax increase until January. The budget also doubles property tax rebates up to $300 and sends a one time payment of at least $50 to most individuals and $100 per kid. Decatur Representative Sue Scherer.
There will also be a sales tax holiday for back to school purchases and an EIC for low income working families. Senator Chapin Rose of Champaign says that people need permanent relief not “election gimmicks.”
Governor JB Pritzker praised the budget, saying that this is the fourth year in a row the budget has been balanced. He says that this bill supports local governments, provides tax relief, and boosts staffs at nursing homes, but most importantly it helps address crime in the state.
The Governor says that the budget adds 300 new state troopers, supports mental health for police officers, funds more college students, and provides tax relief including those one time payments.
License fees for bars and restaurants will be suspended as the hospitality industry is still reeling from the effects of COVID-19.