Reaction to Governor’s Budget AddressThe budget-making process for Fiscal Year 2022 began in earnest on February 17 when Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (D-Chicago) gave a combined State of the State and Budget Address. The virtual remarks laid out Governor Pritzker’s vision for a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Please see the previous IASB Legislative Report for full in-depth coverage.
Predictably, Governor Pritzker’s budget proposal was more widely lauded by Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly than by the legislature’s Republicans. It appears that many of the governor’s plans will face serious legislative discussion and possible pushback in the next three months. One area of discussion will be the difference between the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) budget recommendations, calling for a 21.4% increase in appropriations, and the Governor’s recommended 0.5% increase. The difference will be worked out in the General Assembly appropriations process, determining the final appropriations school districts will receive with adoption of the negotiated budget in May.
Former House Speaker ResignsFormer House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) has resigned his seat in the General Assembly after 50 years of service. Madigan was replaced by Chris Welch (D-Westchester) as House Speaker for the 102nd General Assembly. While Madigan’s impact on Illinois government will be long-lasting, his service in the House of Representatives had become a point of major political tension over the last several years. The 22nd House District community will now have the task of naming a replacement.
Education Committee Members SetThe Illinois Senate and House have both announced members for their education committees. New faces will be leading the education committee in the Senate. Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) will sever as chairperson and Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) will serve as minority spokesperson. Belt and Rezin have served on the Education Committee in previous General Assemblies. On the other side of the Rotunda, the Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee will be chaired by Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) and the Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter School Committee will be chaired by Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur). The Republicans have named spokespeople Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield) and Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) for the respective committees. Now is the time to connect with them so that they know you can provide impactful information about your schools and community as they discuss legislation.
Now is a great time to reach out to your legislators and welcome them to the 102nd General Assembly. IASB offers a way to make this as easy as possible. By following this link and filling out a short form, you can send a pre-composed message or, if you wish, customize a message to your lawmakers.