GOMB projects State budget deficits in FY25 and following years
The “Illinois Economic and Fiscal Policy Report,” submitted last month by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), contains long-term projections covering spending and tax revenue trends faced by Illinois. The GOMB projects continued compounding increases in the expenses in several key areas of State general-funds spending, particularly health care costs, pensions, and mandated education funding increases. The GOMB projects general funds budgeted spending, including pensions, rising from $48.3 billion in FY24 to almost $55.8 billion five years down the road in FY29.
House Republicans have warned that State spending has outpaced core revenue growth over recent years; and that the State has become increasingly reliant on one-time revenue sources to fund new and existing spending programs. To try to deal with these deficits, Illinois is building up its Budget Stabilization Fund, or rainy day fund. The cash and cash-equivalent funds on deposit in the rainy day fund have now reached more than $2 billion.
State Police creates online form for reporting of public-sector corruption
Illinois has a long-standing, sad history of public corruption. Four of Illinois’ last eleven governors have served time in federal prison and numerous elected officials have been convicted or are awaiting trial for public corruption, including former House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.
The Special Investigations Unit, a detection operation within the State Police, has posted an online citizen complaint form for the immediate reporting of criminal misconduct by elected officials and government employees, such as asking for an under-the-table payment or favor for some sort of governmental service or preference. Government employees include not only elected officials, but also people who were appointed by, or are answerable to, an elected official or public administrator.
New Back 2 Business Grants
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) recently announced the Illinois B2B NewBiz grant program that became available on November 30. This new program extends financial relief to businesses that started during the COVID-19 pandemic in industries that were most impacted by it. Grants are for businesses that have not been eligible for state grants and most of the federal emergency support thus far.
Business owners can learn more and apply for the Illinois B2B NewBiz grant on the grant portal, at https://b2bnewbiz.com, until January 11, 2024.
First weekend of firearm deer harvest shows increase in deer taken
During the three-day period of November 17 through November 19, licensed hunters reported the taking of 53,348 deer to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). This was a 2% increase from the 52,354 deer reported during the comparable weekend in 2022. IDNR operates a website with updates on the remaining deer hunts and hunting periods of the 2023-24 deer hunting season.
Illinois celebrates the Christmas holiday season
The Illinois tourism department, “Enjoy Illinois,” has put together a package of website pages to highlight the holiday season in Illinois. Hanukkah will begin on Thursday, December 7, and will continue until Friday, December 15. Kwanzaa, a celebration of African American culture, will begin on Boxing Day Tuesday, December 26, and will continue until New Year’s Day, January 1.
Many Illinois communities have put together Christmas-themed displays and celebrations. Enjoy Illinois has put together itineraries and travel suggestions for the suburban Chicago area, Downstate Illinois, and the city of Chicago.
Around the district
Congratulations on the Grand Opening of the new Corn Belt Ports Regional Office in Peoria Thursday! Great things are happening in the 105th District!
From a Corn Belt Ports Press Release:
The office is one of four Corn Belt Ports Regional Offices on the Upper Mississippi River System. The office will also house the Heart of Illinois Regional Port District and the newly established Illinois Waterway Ports
Since its inception in 2019, Corn Belt Ports has served as a unifying force and has played a pivotal
role in supporting regional economic development while expanding support for sustainable
waterborne commerce along the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway. Its coordinating
efforts are responsible for establishing four federally recognized Ports, which combined handle
nearly 100 million tons of freight annually, propping up our agricultural supply chain.
In 2023, legislation to establish the ten-county Illinois Waterway Ports Commission was passed
unanimously by the Illinois legislature and signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker.
Thank You to Pontiac Area Chamber for hosting us at Issues & Eggs! We received much needed feedback from our area Service Agencies, Small Business Owners, Local Organizations to help strengthen our communities!
Thank You Village of Flanagan, Flanagan Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, and Flanagan Public Library District for being such great Co-Hosts of Santa Sunday Funday and Star Wars Stormtrooper event yesterday! This collective partnership made for a great day and evening of fun for families and kiddos! Our constituents were able to speak with me directly about their concerns, potential legislation and share many great ideas to move our District 105 forward. Special Thanks to Mayor Dave Iverson, Kim Wargo, and Ashley and Chief Joe Montemurro for all your hard work on behalf of the Flanagan community.
…and the parade!