Illinois has a Budget!

After 736 days, a bipartisan budget package passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly. On July 6, 2017, members of the state legislature joined together to override the Governor’s vetoes and finally end our devastating state budget and revenue impasse.

Thank YOU for your tireless advocacy efforts in calling for a full budget with adequate, new revenue!  Elected officials responded to your calls for a full-year budget with enough new, permanent revenue to stop the cuts, repair some of the damage that has been done, and make smart investments in the future.

Now please take a few minutes to thank your legislators for their support of the budget and revenue package. Find out how your representative and senator voted and call 1-855-334-6885 to be connected with your state legislators. Call script:

“As your constituent, I am calling to thank ____________ for doing the right thing and saving our state by voting for a full year budget with new permanent revenue. Your vote will help millions of Illinoisans and thousands of people in our district live better lives in the coming year! Thank you!”

We join members of the Responsible Budget Coalition in applauding the General Assembly for ending the budget nightmare with new revenue:

By having the courage to pass a budget with $5 billion dollars of permanent new revenue, they have saved the state from even more devastating cuts to vital services and will allow schools, social service agencies, and healthcare providers to begin to heal and plan for the future. Millions of Illinoisans will be able to live a better life in the coming year because of this vote.

The budget raises $5 billion dollars in revenue. The main sources of this revenue are increasing the individual income tax from 3.75% to 4.95% and the corporate income tax from 5.25% to 7%, retroactive to July 1, 2017. Both increases will be permanent. The personal tax rate is slightly lower than the 5% rate that expired in 2011, which will bring in much needed revenue.

The budget also increases the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It increases the EITC from 10% (of the federal credit) to 14% in FY17 and 18% in FY18. The EITC is both a federal and state tax credit that can only be claimed by lower-wage taxpayers who earn income through work. The Earned Income Tax Credit lifts more lower-paid workers out of poverty than any other policy tool.

There is more work to be done. The budget includes a number of cuts, including cuts to human services and higher education, which we do not support. The budget also appropriates a part of the school funding according to the evidence-based model in SB 1, which the Governor has threatened to veto. We hope that the Governor and state legislators will work in the future to protect school funding and repair the harm that has been done in the past two years, including paying down the backlog of unpaid bills. 

We are one body with many members. If one member suffers, all suffer together (1 Cor. 12).  Over two years without a year-long, fully funded budget devastated the Illinois safety net. During this time, more than one million people have suffered as they lost access to critical services. We will continue to advocate for new, adequate and fair revenue to protect our state’s most vulnerable residents.

Again, we sincerely thank the Illinois House and Senate legislators who voted, in a historic bipartisan vote, to end the two-year state budget impasse by passing a full-year budget with new, permanent revenue. Please take a few minutes now to call and thank your legislators.

There are three bills in the budget package.  SB 6 contains FY17 supplemental appropriations and FY18 full appropriations; SB 42 is the budget implementation bill (BIMP) that makes the statutory changes needed to effectuate the budget; and SB 9 contains increases in revenue in order to fund the budget appropriations in SB 6.You can find the bill language and voting records at the following links:

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