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Thursday, April 2, 2020

ILLINOIS STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 12: Pizer Responds to Governor’s Budget Address, Highlights Funding Priorities Moving Forward

Politics

By Press release submission | Feb 24, 2020

Meeting 08

Illinois State House District 12 issued the following announcement on Feb. 20.

Following Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget address , state Rep. Jonathan “Yoni” Pizer, D-Chicago, released the following statement:

“It marked the first step of the budgeting process, and I am eager to participate in it. The Governor’s address provided an opportunity to reflect on the progress made over the past year and to assess our priorities as we look ahead to crafting a balanced budget consistent with the values of the people of Illinois.

“Illinois faces a number of financial challenges, but we have an opportunity to lower the burden on our local school districts and bring real property tax relief to all homeowners. This budget will enable us to honor our constitutionally-protected pension commitments while continuing to stabilize and strengthen essential services such as domestic violence shelters, violence prevention programs, and senior care providers.

“As the Governor stated, a balanced budget is more realistically accomplished if the Governor’s Fair Tax amendment is ratified in November; this would increase state revenue while lowering the tax rate for most residents in our community and across the state.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the Public Safety Appropriations Committee at this critical juncture. In this capacity, I can impact how we plan to tackle safety throughout our state and ensure that local concerns are heard.

“The progress made this last year was the result of engaged collaboration by the Governor and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. I am excited to participate in the process this year, and I look forward to building a stronger Illinois with a responsible balanced budget.”

In addition to his statement, Pizer is highlighting noteworthy items included in Pritzker’s budget address: The proposed budget:

Includes $100 million of anticipated revenue from the Fair Tax proposal to pay down pension debt.

Dedicates $100 million to Illinois’ rainy day fund. It has been more than a decade since the state has contributed to the fund, which was almost entirely wiped out in 2017.

Anticipates $46 million in tax revenue from cannabis sales, with $10 million dedicated to go toward eliminating the state’s bill backlog.

Highlights a pension buyout plan introduced last year resulted in $32 million in savings, while the consolidation of 650 different local police and fire pension funds is projected to increase investment yields for the consolidated system. These actions are anticipated to help lower the property tax burden on local governments.

Prioritizes tuition free community college for Monetary Award Program (MAP) eligible students with family incomes below $45,000 a year, while expanding MAP grant funding to an additional 20,000 students.

Continues the implementation of the Evidence Based Funding Model for K-12 schools with an additional $350 million in funding, relieving local government need to depend on property taxes to offset the state’s failure to meet our obligations to school funding

Provides for a 40% increase in mental health and substance abuse treatment, in part funded by setting aside 22% of cannabis tax revenues for this purpose.

Budgets $4.5 million to restore a vital health care navigator program eliminated by the Trump administration that assists individuals and small businesses seeking to access health care coverage and lower their costs via the federal insurance marketplace.

Restores and expands the Home Delivered Meals program for low-income seniors that has been decimated as the result of attack by the Trump administration.

Replaces family planning funding for the Department of Public Health that was lost when the Trump administration instituted a gag rule aimed at eliminating access to abortion and other reproductive health services.

Increases staff and training for the Department of Children & Family Services which has lacked proper support and oversight for years.

Original source can be found here.

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