ABC 7’s Weekend Watch shines a spotlight on government activity.
IIllinois lawmakers approved a $46.5 billion budget early Saturday that includes $1.8 billion in election-year tax relief and a $1 billion deposit into the state’s rainy day fund.
The Illinois Senate approved the budget plan on a 34-19 vote late Friday, while the House worked through the night before giving its approval early Saturday on a 72-42 vote.
The budget relies on a robust post-pandemic economy and health tax revenues to include $1.8 billion in mostly temporary tax cuts that track closely with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s election year proposal last winter.
The plan includes a direct payment to Illinois residents making less than $200,000 per year or $400,000 per year for couples filing jointly. Each taxpayer would receive $50, plus $100 for each dependent child, capped at three.
It also includes Democratic legislative leaders’ response to soaring prices with temporary tax breaks on gas, groceries and real estate levies, and also includes a permanent expansion of a tax credit for low- and moderate-income taxpayers.
The budget also includes more than $200 million for new public safety initiatives that answer Republican criticism that Democrats were not doing enough to address rising crime.
The budget plan, which also puts $1 billion into a state “rainy day” fund, now awaits Pritzker’s signature. It would go into effect on July 1, the start of the state’s fiscal year.