Recap with Rosenthal


Governor delivers largest budget proposal in state history. House Republicans respond. Governor JB Pritzker delivered his State of the State and Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly this week.

Governor Pritzker introduced the largest budget proposal in state history. The Governor’s FY25 proposed budget would spend $52.7 billion, which is a $2.3 billion increase over the FY24 enacted budget – a 4.5% increase.

The Governor’s budget plan includes over $1 billion in additional revenue, raising taxes on Illinois families and businesses while providing minimal tax relief. Instead of proposing any substantive cuts to address the projected $775 million deficit, the Governor is asking taxpayers to again foot the bill so that he can cater to his core constituencies.

House Minority Leader Tony McCombie and House Republican Budgeteers, Deputy Leader Norine Hammond and Assistant Leader Amy Elik, offered their insight into the state budget proposal Governor Pritzker revealed during a Capitol press conference Wednesday.

“It is hard to ignore the majority of the budget proposal that includes no structural reforms or tax relief, but instead tax increases that will make it harder on Illinois families and businesses,” said Leader McCombie.

“Governor Pritzker’s record-high budget does not reflect the shared priorities of Illinois families,” said Deputy Leader Hammond. “This budget provides better healthcare benefits for undocumented immigrants than most Illinois families receive. In fact, on Gov. Pritzker’s watch, the State will have spent more than $2 billion in taxpayer funds on healthcare benefits for undocumented immigrant adults. Additionally, the State will have spent $820 million to address Chicago’s migrant crisis. In total, over $2.8 billion is being dedicated to services to migrants and undocumented immigrants, while services for our most vulnerable citizens remain chronically underfunded and underserved.”

“House Republicans support a balanced budget without gimmicks and tax hikes,” Hammond added. “We support a budget that prioritizes the needs of Illinois working families and seniors over migrants and undocumented immigrants. We will continue to work to pass a balanced budget that protects Illinois taxpayers, properly funds shared priorities, and makes real reforms to improve our economy.”

“The budget proposed spends $2.29 billion more than last year while increasing taxes on businesses,” said Assistant Leader Elik. “The people I represent don’t appreciate seeing their tax dollars spent on enticing undocumented immigrants to come to Illinois for housing and Cadillac healthcare. Now that Governor Pritzker presented his budget proposal to lawmakers, it’s time for the House and Senate to work together on a budget that reflects the priorities of the taxpayers we represent. I want to see us reach an agreement this year on a budget that is balanced without any tax hikes, eliminates Cadillac health benefits for non-citizens, and provides tax relief for families.”

“For a Governor who is perpetually trying to sell himself as a friend of business development and job creation, the budget he proposed today runs completely contrary to that notion. Instead of focusing on his future presidential ambitions and competing with California for the title of most progressive state in the nation, I wish we could get serious about growing Illinois’ economy,” said Deputy Republican Leader Ryan Spain.

“The Governor is blaming Greg Abbott for the migrant crisis created in the sanctuary city of Chicago and takes no accountability for his own poor policies,” said Rep. Rosenthal. “Governor Pritzker should be thanking the Texas Governor for halting the influx of migrants by securing the southern border to protect his own citizens.”


Corruption trials and investigations continue. As the prosecution of Michael J. Madigan moves through pretrial, former associates and colleagues of the former Speaker of the Illinois House continue to face conviction and sentencing. The Illinois Policy Institutecontinues to operate its “Corruption Tracker” webpage to summarize the news stories of various public corruption cases. These summaries include outcomes, such as the recent 30-month prison sentence imposed on former Madigan chief of staff Tim Mapes, and ongoing investigations and lawsuits.

A current series of lawsuits and inquires center on suburban Mayor Tiffany Henyard of Dolton, Illinois. Accusations against Henyard are currently gaining nationwide notoriety, putting further focus on patterns of ongoing corruption in Illinois. The FBI has launched an investigation into controversial Dolton Mayor and Thornton Township Supervisor Tiffany Henyard.


Comptroller launches portal to track migrant-related spending. An estimated 40,000 migrants have arrived in greater Chicago in recent months. The State of Illinois has already spent $638 million in taxpayer funds on the migrant crisis. Spending on the migrant crisis includes health care, housing, and social services.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza has launched a new portal to track State migrant-related spending. With Governor Pritzker announcing an additional $182 million in State spending to help address Chicago’s migrant crisis, many Illinoisans are interested to see where the money is going. The Comptroller’s portal can be found here.


Illinois once again faces rising gas prices. The average price of gasohol, the highest-volume motor fuel in Illinois, has jumped 26.4 cents per gallon over the past month. Market watchers pointed towards the annual transition from ‘wintertime blends’ to the more expensive motor fuel mixtures that are required to be sold in Illinois’ two largest consolidated metro areas, Chicago and St. Louis, during the warmer months.

The specialty summer fuels are described as effective in reducing the buildup of ozone, an air pollutant, in northern and southwestern Illinois. Both metro areas, Chicago and St. Louis, are in long-term noncompliance with federal environmental guidelines for ozone. Motor fuel is a necessity for the budgets of most Illinois families, and rising prices for this essential commodity are likely to force cutbacks in almost every other household spending category.

Illinois and its local governments also lay significant tax supplements on the cost of motor fuel. The ‘gas tax’ and associated sales taxes and levies pay for highway and bridge construction and maintenance, for the operations of mass transit systems, and for the operating costs of State and local government.


$1 billion in tax increases are major sticking points in the Governor’s proposed budget. Gov. Pritzker’s FY25 budget proposal called for close to $1 billion in new taxes on residents and businesses in the state, including continuing the inflation-ignoring cap that has “decoupled” the income tax standard deduction, utilized by almost all Illinois taxpayers, from inflation as measured by the Consumer Prince Index. If enacted into law this decoupling will, in FY25, take an estimated $93 million from the pockets of hardworking Illinois families.

The Governor also proposed changes to the how much net operating losses businesses will be able to deduct on their taxes in tax year 2025. This change is expected to increase the tax liability of Illinois businesses by $526 million in FY25. The proposed Pritzker budget also includes a $200 million tax increase to be imposed on earnings from sports wagering. This would be imposed by raising the tax rate on sports wagering from 15% to 35%. The Governor’s proposed tax increases, if enacted, will be imposed on top of continuing increases in local property tax bills. Illinois is already ranked 9th overall as one of the 10-worst states in the nation with regards to overall tax burdens.