Legislator says Illinoisans must be prioritized in budget as revenue shortfall reported


(The Center Square) – A report detailing Illinois’ budget forecast is warning of a huge drop in state revenues. 

The Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability said April receipts fell $1.8 billion compared to the same month the year prior. The COGFA report said while a substantial decline in revenues was anticipated, the extent of the decline is much steeper than the commission had projected. The news comes as lawmakers are putting together an annual spending plan as the spring legislative session winds down.

The main contributor to the falloff was personal income taxes, which fell $1.7 billion below last April’s levels, a drop of $1.5 billion on a net basis. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker floated tax cuts if state revenues continued to exceed expectations, but those are unlikely. Pritzker’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year is nearly $50 billion, an 11% increase over last year and an all-time high. 

State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, said the needs of Illinoisans’ should be the focus of the budget, noting that it is expected to cost a billion dollars of taxpayer money to provide health care for undocumented migrant residents in Illinois.

“We just can’t prioritize nonresidents of Illinois when you’ve got so many costs for our current residents in infrastructure, schools, ect. that have pressing needs,” Sosnowski told The Center Square. 

The COGFA report said the substantial declines in April erased nearly all of the growth accrued throughout the fiscal year. With two months remaining in the fiscal year, General Funds receipts in fiscal 2023 are now only $132 million above last year’s pace. In comparison, at the end of February, fiscal 2023 receipts were $2.5 billion higher than fiscal 2022 year-to-date levels, which shows the extent that revenues have fallen over the past two months.

As the July 1 budget deadline looms, Sosnowski said the news should be a wake-up call for the Democratic majority.

“In some of those areas where they have some priorities that are out of touch with Illinois residents, I think they’re going to have some tough internal debates,” Sosnowski said.  


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May 8, 2023 at 04:50PM

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