Pritzker signs $53.1B budget, touts investments in education, economic development

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Touting investments in education and economic development, Gov. JB Pritzker signed the budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Wednesday.

The $53.1 billion budget contains much of the governor’s priorities including $50 million child tax credit —providing up to $300 per child under 12 — and $290 million to Home Illinois to work towards ending homelessness in Illinois. Another $400 million is dedicated for the second year of the Smart Start Illinois initiative, which aims to provide universal preschool access statewide by 2027, and $500 million to build a quantum computing campus.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed a $53.1 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2025 during a bill signing ceremony in Chicago on Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

“We started with our children and families focusing on the areas most essential to them to thrive like childcare, education, health care and housing,” said Pritzker during a bill signing ceremony in Chicago. “This budget was designed to make them more affordable and more accessible.”

The signing brought an end to months of negotiations among state lawmakers, which was held in delicate balance in the House last week over disagreements on a $1.1 billion tax plan needed to balance the budget.

That measure includes increases on the sports wagering and video gaming taxes, which will net the state an additional $235 million in revenues, in addition to an extended cap on corporate net operating losses to prevent what would have been a $526 million loss for the state.

More: Third time’s the charm: Illinois House sends $53.1 billion budget to Pritzker

Democrats have 78 members in the chamber but struggled to acquire the needed 60 votes for it to pass, finally breaking through on the third try just before 5 a.m. last Wednesday. Pritzker did not sign that bill on Wednesday but plans on doing so before the end of the month.

The concern among Republicans and some Democrats was the increased spending, Republicans particularly targeting the $182 million dedicated to provide shelter and other services to migrants. The idea of widespread cuts, as others like fellow Democrat Comptroller Susana Mendoza had suggested, was not supported by the governor. Altogether, the budget includes $75 million in cuts per House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch.

“This idea is not an idea that Democrats believe in — this idea that you can just go across the board and cut 5% of the budget and and not have a very deleterious effect on people across the state,” Pritzker said.

Fiscal year 2025 will start on July 1, 2024.

Contact Patrick M. Keck: 312-549-9340, pkeck@gannett.com, twitter.com/@pkeckreporter

This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signs $53.1 billion budget