SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) – The Governor’s budget address signals the start of the budget negotiation process.
“The process under our constitution is the governor goes first,” Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) said after the speech.
Now, legislators will head to the table to hammer out the details.
Democrats were receptive to the ideas listed during Pritzker’s speech.
“From enrolling more children in early education programs, to keeping our promise to fund K-12 schools, to getting back to investing in higher education opportunities and devoting resources to address the growing problem of homelessness, there’s a lot to like in this budget,” Illinois Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) said. “Senate Democrats look forward to the opportunity to explore it in greater detail in the weeks and months ahead.”
Some argue that Pritzker’s plan would not serve minority communities enough, however.
“I am pleased to see that today’s budget proposal recommends funding to address homelessness, expand access to healthcare, early childhood and other investments.” Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) said. “However, more funding is still needed to help historically underserved communities grappling with the continuing HIV and AIDS crisis and for Black-led community organizations to help with this issue.”
Democratic leaders are confident they will come to an agreement.
“It is paramount that we prioritize hardworking families and continue to make fiscally responsible decisions that put our state in a better position for generations to come,” Illinois Speaker of the House Chris Welch said. “This proposal by Governor Pritzker proves that Democrats are united in those goals. This budget address is a great starting point for our legislative negotiations, and I look forward to building on our recent success.”
Illinois Republicans did not support his proposals and argued if implemented, they would cause too much spending.
This is a developing story that will continue to be updated.