Two-day Illinois legislative session ends with major legislation, but no energy bill – Quad City Times

The budget provides essentially flat funding for most state government operations, with the exception of K-12 education, which will see the $350 million increase called for in the evidence-based funding formula, and some human services such as Medicaid.

The bill also calls for using about $1 billion in federal funds from the recently-passed American Rescue Plan Act to get an early start on infrastructure projects that are part of the Rebuild Illinois capital improvements program of 2019, something Pritzker said would create new jobs throughout the state and help accelerate the state’s economic recovery.

Republicans, however, harshly criticized that spending, arguing that the projects were hand-picked solely by Democratic lawmakers.

They also criticized the budget for not addressing the large deficit in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, which some have estimated may be as large as $5 billion.

Democrats, however, countered that the trust fund deficit can be addressed at a later time, possibly with additional federal relief.

“Hopefully, there’ll be some additional relief because other states are facing this as well,” Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, said during a separate news conference Wednesday.

In addition to fixing the budget bill, lawmakers also passed legislation this week to ensure that people who, through no fault of their own, received more unemployment benefits than they were entitled to will not be required to pay back those overpayments.


via “Illinois Politics” – Google News

June 17, 2021 at 09:34PM

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