News From State Representative Dan Ugaste – June 10, 2024


Pritzker signs largest budget in state history; $53.1 billion spending plan includes tax hikes, politician pay raises and a billion dollars for non-citizens.  On Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law a partisan $53.1 billion spending plan, the largest budget in state history. The Fiscal Year 2025 budget is a whopping $2.6 billion more than last year’s enacted budget and includes pay raises for politicians and a staggering $1 billion for non-citizens. Moreover, Democrats voted for $1 billion in tax hikes to pay for their record-breaking spending.

House Republicans were united in our opposition to the Democrats’ massive tax-and-spend plan and unanimously voted against the FY25 budget and tax increases.

Over the last four years, the Democrat-controlled General Assembly has joined Governor Pritzker in a voracious appetite for increased government spending. Since the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Democratic lawmakers have voted to grow state expenditures by more than $13 billion, from nearly $40 billion in 2020 to more than $53 billion this year and have forced hard-working Illinoisans to foot the bill.

Here is what House Republican leaders are saying about the FY 2025 budget:

House Minority Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna)

“This budget is a negligent political document that comes at a massive price to Illinois families. The partisan approach by Democratic leaders has pushed the state onto a failed path of taxes and overspending while ignoring necessary structural and ethical reforms.

“Over the past few weeks, the House has passed bills that address vital needs in the state. The Illinois House Republican caucus, representing parts of all 102 counties, is responsible for holding the majority party accountable on spending. This is especially important with the passage of a budget with bloated political projects, taxpayer-funded benefits for non-citizens, and politician pay raises, which come at the expense of the state’s most vulnerable residents.”

Deputy Republican Leader & Chief Budgeteer Norine Hammond (R-Macomb)

“In the early morning hours, Illinois Democrats passed the largest budget in state history. In just six years under Governor Pritzker, State spending has increased by more than $13 billion, a 32 percent increase. Illinois working families and seniors cannot afford to pay for all this massive spending, especially at a time when so many are struggling with high inflation, high interest rates, and persistently high unemployment.

“This budget includes over $1 billion in additional revenue, raising taxes on Illinois families and businesses while providing minimal tax relief. Adding insult to injury, the Democrats are giving tax breaks to Hollywood studios and Green New Deal environmentalists, while raising taxes on small businesses across the state. The Democrats’ spending plan raids the Road Fund to help pay for Chicago’s mass transit mess. It includes $625 million in new pork projects for Democrat legislators. And worst of all, this budget spends $1 billion on taxpayer-funded benefits for migrants and undocumented immigrants.

“This record-high budget does not reflect the shared priorities of Illinois families.”

Assistant Republican Leader & Budgeteer Amy Elik (R-Alton)

“Hard-working Illinoisans are struggling to afford basic needs amidst high inflation and higher cost of living increases. While Democrats prioritized raising taxes, spending on new programs, and subsidizing failed open-border immigration policies, our state’s most vulnerable citizens have been shortchanged. I’m greatly concerned that the excessive spending this year and, in the future, can only be paid for by more and more tax hikes in the future.”

As FY24 nears end, general funds revenues fall short of year-earlier markThe May 2024 report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) showed a major decline in the State’s monthly cash flow. When comparing May 2024 general funds revenues with comparable revenues from May 2023, the May 2024 cash flow numbers fell short by $213 million. These are numbers that reflect the tax payments and federal funds payments that are essential to paying the State’s day-to-day bills.

The CGFA report indicated that two major reasons for the May 2024 shortfall were a sharp decline in intakes of federal funds from Washington, D.C. (down $212 million from May 2023) and a decline of $91 million in personal income tax payments to the State of Illinois. While the federal funds downturn was the largest single slice of the overall decline, this is a cash flow line that fluctuates sharply from month to month and generates a great deal of random “noise.” The decline on individual and personal income tax payments, on the other hand, is a cash flow line that includes payments withheld by employers from employee wages. Stagnating job numbers and wage payments could be leading to serious changes in this line, and these changes could challenge State accountants and budget officers in the fast-approaching FY25. The $53.1 billion budget just signed into law by Gov. Pritzker contains optimistic assumptions about tax payments and cash flows to the State of Illinois in FY25. These optimistic projections include blue-sky forecasts for State of Illinois personal income tax revenues, even though the current numbers strongly indicate that caution is warranted. The CGFA report was published on Tuesday, June 4. 


Democrats’ Election Law Change Blocked by Court.  Earlier this week, Sangamon County Judge Gail Noll ruled to block a change to the state’s election law, that was pushed forward this Spring by Democrats, aiming to protect incumbents in the upcoming election cycle.

The law in question, which would stifle the ability of the Republican party to fill office vacancies, and place meaningless non-binding questions on the ballot to drive Democrat voters to the polls, faced united Republican opposition in both the Illinois House and Senate. In the ruling handed down Wednesday, Judge Noll echoed Republican concerns that this law changed the rules in the middle of the game.

“The General Assembly could make the revisions effective for the next election, rather than in the midst of the current election,” Noll wrote in her 12-page order. “Changing the rules relating to ballot access in the midst of an election cycle removes certainty from the election process and is not necessary to achieve the legislation’s proffered goal.”

While the ruling does not mean the law is entirely null and void, it is inapplicable for this year’s general election.

Read more details about the lawsuit and consequent ruling from Capitol News Illinois.


Elik legislation requires access to life-saving AED devices in schools.  The Automated External Defibrillator/Automated Electronic Defibrillator (AED) is a device used to rapidly diagnose and treat ventricular fibrillation. This condition, which is life-threatening and immediate, can be turned around if a patient’s heart is shocked and its contractions re-set. A valid AED device, when placed against a patient’s chest by a trained AED user, can diagnose the condition and deliver an electrical charge.

Current Illinois law, pioneered by former House Republican lawmaker JoAnn Osmond, has ensured that AEDs are accessible in many public places throughout Illinois. However, a loophole in this law had excluded many school settings. SB 3571, sponsored in the House by Representative Amy Elik, amends the School Code to require the presence of at least one AED device in each school attendance center. The devices must be accessible at school-sponsored extracurricular activities when they are held on school grounds. The House vote of 111-0-0 completed work on Rep. Elik’s bill, which will be sent to Gov. Pritzker’s desk for final action.      


Weaver bill grows Illinois jobs, protects taxpayer investment.  The economy and job growth continues to be a top priority for House Republican lawmakers as we fight to keep employers from leaving Illinois. In addition to easing burdensome government regulations and tax hikes, employers are also in need of a qualified and highly trained workforce. Investing in employee development and training is a key element in providing the type of workforce needed to keep high-paying jobs in the state and grow Illinois’ economy. However, the investments must be made in the right assets to achieve the highest return for Illinoisans.

As the House sponsor of SB 2907 that creates the Job Training and Workforce Development Transparency Act, State Representative Travis Weaver‘s aim is to ensure the state’s investment in workforce training programs is paying off in meaningful ways. Weaver’s legislation requires the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to work with state agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of government funded Workforce Development programs and to report back to the General Assembly with its findings. 

Weaver’s objective is two-fold: First, to identify areas of improvement so action can be taken if needed to protect taxpayers’ investment in growing Illinois’ economy. Second, to provide greater government transparency so Illinoisans know their tax dollars are being well spent.

“Citizens routinely reach out to my office searching for programs that can help them get the training they need to provide for their family and live a prosperous life,” said Weaver. “This bill directly helps that and we got it passed!”

The legislation now awaits the Governor’s signature. 


Stephens’ O’Hare Safety Bill Heads to the Governor’s Desk.  State Representative Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) and Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) have taken a step to improve traffic safety around O’Hare Airport.

In response to reports of dangerous conditions around the airport, Harmon and Stephens passed legislation prohibiting drivers from stopping their vehicles on the shoulder of the road anywhere within a half-mile radius of O’Hare.

“O’Hare is one of the busiest airports in the country,” Harmon said. “With thousands of cars coming through daily, obstructions on the roadway present a threat to drivers, passengers and pedestrians.”

The legislation was a bipartisan effort, originally introduced in the Illinois House by Rep. Brad Stephens.

“This initiative is a proactive measure to ensure motorist safety on 190 and I-90 near the entrance to O’Hare Airport. Countless drivers have been parking on the shoulders of these roadways awaiting traveler arrivals instead of using the conveniently located cell phone lots within the airport property,” said Rep. Stephens.

Stephens said, “We can’t station officers in these areas to address this safety issue as it’s not an efficient use of manpower, so I am happy to sponsor this measure in hopes that we have addressed an issue prior to anyone being injured or killed.”

The measure also directs the Illinois Tollway Authority to install automated traffic safety cameras within the same half-mile radius.

Anyone found in violation of the new provisions could be fined $100 per instance.

House Bill 5408 passed the Senate 50-5 and will now be sent to the governor’s desk.