House Republicans have laid out our priorities for the new state budget that we will adopt before we adjourn this spring. With hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars currently being spent to care for migrants, budget funding for other programs and services is going to be even harder to find (more details in the next article).
House Republican priorities for this year’s budget include:
✅ No new taxes
✅ Tackle pension debt
✅ Improve state agency efficiency
✅ Fund education
✅ Prioritize services for Illinois citizens
Read more below.
Controversial Immigrant Healthcare Program Running Hundreds of Millions Over Budget
Swirling disputes have confused all parties involved, including health care providers, with respect to two conjoined programs that provide taxpayer-funded health care for undocumented immigrant adults in Illinois. The programs are called “Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults” (HBIA) and “Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors” (HBIS).
These HBIA and HBIS programs have become one of the largest components of the State’s overall budget. $550 million was appropriate for these programs in fiscal year 2024. In testimony to the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) in February 6, an HFS spokesperson confessed that current spending trends lead to anticipated expenditures for these programs at $773 million in FY24. This represents a $223 million cost overrun from the sum appropriated by the General Assembly at the start of the fiscal year.
Working for More School Safety Officers
More School Safety Officers on school grounds would help protect students and staff, and also help students build good relationships with law enforcement. I discussed with Newschannel 20 legislation I’m sponsoring in the House. Watch here.
IMA Hits Landmark Anniversary/State Manufacturing Grants Available
130 years ago, during the height of the Industrial Revolution, a small but ambitious group of 7 manufacturers met at the Medinah Temple in Chicago and founded the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association which has grown into the nation’s oldest – and one of the largest – state manufacturing trade associations and the strongest business advocacy organization in Illinois. Congratulations to IMA members across the state, and to IMA President and CEO Mark Denzler.
In addition, The State of Illinois is partnering with the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center to launch the Made in Illinois Grant Program to support small and mid-sized manufacturers. Through the program, eligible manufacturers may receive up to $50K in grant funding. Applications are open through the end of March. Read more here.
Around the District
I was pleased to attend the annual Greater Livingston County Economic Development Council forecast dinner. The event showcased local workforce highlights, and I was able to discuss with local businesses their ideas for improving Illinois’ jobs climate.
THANK YOU Is not enough to express our gratitude to (4) Generations of District 105 residents and State Staff and their kids who contributed to our Inaugural Cuddles with Kindness event. Your generosity is going to put smiles on lots of hospitalized children’s faces! Can’t wait till next year.
Happy Birthday to Honest Abe!
On February 12th, 1809, President Abraham Lincoln was born. President Lincoln had a profound effect on his home state of Illinois, and the entire nation, through his work to end slavery in the United States. Happy birthday, Mr. President!