The marathon of this legislative session ended in the wee hours of the morning this past Saturday. We as legislators are accustomed to long nights during the last days of a legislative session but even this prolonged finish pushed our energy limit. The Senate adjourned at 3 am and the House adjourned at 6 am. Despite this year’s shortened session and sleepless ending, we still had a very productive and impactful session. In total, 402 bills passed both chambers and will go to the Governor (227 House bills and 175 Senate bills). We even passed a balanced and equitable budget. This budget addressed needed tax relief, funding increases for essential services and public safety, and refreshed the state’s long empty “Rainy Day Fund.”
The FY23 budget, like all budgets, is a statement of our values as a state. Democrats know that the pandemic’s economic impact continues to burden families, and coupled with inflation families are hurting. We also know that we need to continue to invest in our communities and critical services while restoring the fiscal stability to our state. I am happy to share that we will be allocating $1B to the Illinois Family Relief Plan. This relief plan is a program that seeks to curb the impacts of inflation by providing relief on groceries and gas, as well as providing property tax rebates for low and middle income families. The final budget also prioritizes spending for human services, the hospitality sector, public safety, education, tax relief, paying off debts, and much more. We even made an extra pension payment which will save the state money in interest payments while putting major dollars into our rainy day fund.
This budget contains a crucial increase for domestic violence service providers. We have seen a major increase in domestic violence calls since the start of the pandemic. The Governor’s introduced budget only provided for a minuscule $400,000 increase back in February. I made it my sole budget priority to ensure that the agencies and staff serving survivors of domestic violence were allocated the resources they need to respond to the dramatic increase in demand for service they’ve seen during the pandemic and beyond. Along with colleagues in the Senate, the House Progressive Caucus, and the House Democratic Women’s Caucus and amazing advocates from service providers all over the state, we were able to secure $70 million!
Please see the sections below for the budget breakdown and legislative victories.
My staff and I are excited for the warmer months ahead. We look forward to connecting at the exciting community events coming up as well as future meet-ups my office is planning to host.
Always feel free to email our office at email@example.com or call 773-784-2002 for any questions or needed assistance.
State Representative, 14th District
STATE of ILLINOIS
To address the impacts of inflation and the pandemic on our families we have ensured $1.8B in aid. The Illinois Family Relief Plan includes:
This budget addresses and prioritizes a number of needs in many different sectors.
As a legislator that has a district with a university (Loyola), it was critical for me to see the state continue to prioritize increased funding to the Monetary Award Progam (MAP) as well as other educational funding increases.
Our businesses are critical for the life of our communities. I especially love our neighborhood businesses which give so much joy to our communities. It is vital we continue to support them. This year’s budget includes:
My district is made up of a number of health and human service providers. Many have endured a lot during this pandemic. As we face a mental health crisis, domestic violence crisis, and a pandemic it’s critical that we continue to support these services. This year’s budget includes:
Our communities have faced abrupt job loss, mental health crises, and a lack of access to services. Along with this have come some disturbing crime trends in communities across the state. At the same time, we know that a simple lock ’em up and throw away the key strategy doesn’t actually make our communities safer and it’s important to let data and facts drive our policymaking rather than relying on reactive policies that have already proven to be failures. This resulted in some challenging discussions between colleagues but ultimately resulted in a package of bills aimed at tackling problems in a more comprehensive fashion. I didn’t support everything that passed but appreciated the opportunity to engage with colleagues across the political spectrum to seek solutions. We’ll do a deeper dive into all of the criminal justice bills that advanced this year and some that didn’t make it through in a future newsletter.
Organized Retail Crime – in response to high profile reports of organized “smash and grab” rings, Attorney General Kwame Raoul worked with retailers to craft an approach they believe will help catch the leaders of these rings, proposing a new law and including $5 million in the budget for implementation of the approach by his office. While I appreciate the problem-solving approach contemplated in the bill, I strongly objected to language in the bill granting significantly greater victims’ rights to retailers than we currently afford other victims of violent crime, especially as it relates to survivors of Gender-Based Violence. The bill, if it becomes law, will require law enforcement to provide at least 7 days notice to retailers of any hearings on their case, prohibit law enforcement from refusing to take a report, or even discourage a retailer from filing a report. In contrast, human (rather than corporate) victims of crime are only required to get “timely” notice. Even more jarring, while law enforcement members are prohibited from refusing to take a sexual assault report, that same prohibition does not apply to survivors of domestic violence or human trafficking and there is no specific provision prohibiting an officer from discouraging a report. These specific provisions of the bill are not necessary for the success of the program, making this all the more insulting to survivors of Gender-Based Violence. I raised these issues in debate early Saturday morning. While the sponsor of the bill has proposed a follow up bill to address these issues, it’s not quite that simple. To view my speech click here.
We continue to clean up after years of imbalanced budgets, devastating stand-offs and service cuts, and failed policies. The FY23 budget is balanced and fiscally responsible. This year’s budget includes:
For more, visit: https://www.repcassidy.com/