Update from Senator Bennett: June 10th

Governor Signs Record Spending Budget with Billion-Dollar Tax Hike

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s government spending plan, which relies on $1 billion in tax increases, officially became the largest budget in state history when he signed it into law on June 5.

Despite bipartisan opposition, the controversial budget sets a new high-water mark for government spending, surpassing $53 billion. This eye-popping total represents a surge of almost $13 billion, or 32% since Pritzker took office.

This significant increase in government spending during Pritzker’s tenure has been fueled by one-time COVID relief funds and unexpectedly high state revenues. Despite warnings from Senate Republican lawmakers to exercise caution with these temporary funds, Pritzker and his allies in the legislature created new programs and permanently increased government spending.

Now that the federal money has run out, the Governor is raising taxes by almost $1 billion to fill the gap and fund around $1 billion in yearly spending on programs for non-citizens, including top-tier healthcare. 

While non-citizen spending continues to skyrocket, the new budget falls short for members of the developmentally disabled community, K-12 and college students, and taxpayers who bear the brunt of the costs.

Senator Bennett argued that a budget is a statement of priorities, and while the Governor’s FY25 budget is the largest in state history, it clearly doesn’t prioritize the people of Illinois. 

Controversial Election Law Ruled Unconstitutional

A controversial new law that would drastically change the state’s election laws and reduce competition at the ballot box was ruled unconstitutional by a Sangamon County judge on June 5.

Senate Bill 2412, which was signed into law by Governor Pritzker in May, would make significant changes to the rules for an election process that is already well underway. Most notably, it would have ended the slating process currently taking place in districts throughout the state, effectively sidelining potential challengers to entrenched incumbents in November. Republican lawmakers opposed the legislation when it came before the General Assembly in May, arguing that it was a blatant power grab by Illinois Democrats intended to prioritize their control over the electoral process at the expense of Illinoisans’ rights to fair and open elections.

IDOT Launches Click it or Ticket Campaign

The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police are participating in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign, urging drivers to buckle up and be safe on the roadways.

This annual initiative aims to crack down on seat belt violations and impaired driving. Highlighting the importance of seat belt usage in preventing road fatalities, officials urge vigilance during the upcoming “100 deadly days of summer,” a period marked by increased traffic fatalities between Memorial Day and Labor Day. With a focus on saving lives, Senate Republicans encourage all motorists and passengers to buckle up for safe travels in the coming summer months. Visit www.buckleupillinois.org for additional information on this initiative.

How much do we owe? As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $812,429,773.04 to  state vendors, including 12,799 pending vouchers. This figure represents the amount of bills submitted to the office of the Comptroller and still awaiting payment. It does not include debts that can only be estimated, such as our unfunded pension liability which is subject to a wide range of factors and has been estimated to be more than $139 billion. At the same time last year, the state’s accounts payable stood at a little less than $2 billion.

Did You Know?

June 10th is National Iced Tea Day. Iced tea is one of Senator Bennett’s favorite drinks on a hot summer day.  Here are 5 fun facts you may not have known about iced tea.

Fun facts about iced tea:

  1. The oldest known recipe for sweet iced tea was published in 1879.
  2. The famous “Long Island Iced Tea” drink doesn’t contain any tea at all.
  3. “Texas tea” in the Beverly Hillbilly’s TV series’ theme song refers to oil, not tea.
  4. Prohibition helped popularize iced tea.
  5. Arizona hasn’t changed the price of its iced tea in nearly 20 years.

Flag Day is Friday, June 14th

This Week in the 53rd District

Tom Bennett

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