The Illinois General Assembly returns to Springfield today to approved a $53 billion state budget for fiscal year 2024 after a marathon negotiating session over the Memorial Day weekend. The budget framework passed by the Senate includes over $750 million in various tax increases, though it avoids a major hike to the flat income tax rate.

Some of the key provisions in the new budget include:

  • A new progressive sports betting tax that raises rates for the largest online betting operators, drawing criticism from the industry
  • Increased funding of $182 million to address the ongoing migrant crisis, as part of a deal with Chicago/Cook County
  • A $350 million annual increase for K-12 education funding per the state’s school funding formula, though less than what Chicago Public Schools had requested
  • $14 million for the newly created Department of Early Childhood
  • Language explicitly prohibiting any funds from going towards a new Chicago Bears stadium, putting Gov. Pritzker at odds with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson

The budget also extends the life of some corporate tax changes that had been set to expire and gives a 5% cost-of-living raise to state lawmakers. It eliminates the statewide grocery tax starting in 2026, while allowing local municipalities to keep it.

With the Senate approving the framework and the House expected to follow suit today, Illinois appears set to enact its FY2024 budget ahead of the May 31 deadline. However, legislators acknowledged challenges in the negotiating process as economic growth slows and options for major revenue increases or spending cuts remain limited.

Debate will likely continue over some of the more controversial aspects, like the hike in sports betting taxes and lack of Bears stadium funding. But for now, the $53 billion spending plan is poised to become law after clearing this major legislative hurdle.

This article was originally published on iBIO NewsBrief. Gain a head start on your day with iBIO NewsBrief. Subscribe to receive top industry headlines delivered straight to your inbox.