Hammond votes against largest budget in state history

Springfield, IL – Five days after the General Assembly was scheduled to adjourn its spring session, the Illinois House finally passed a State Budget for Fiscal Year 2025 early Wednesday morning.

The partisan-crafted $53.1 billion budget passed by Illinois Democrats is the largest spending plan in state history. The new State budget is over $13 billion more than the $40 billion budget passed during Governor JB Pritzker’s first year in office (2019) and is $400 million more than what the Governor himself proposed back in February.

Deputy Republican Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), the chief budgeteer for the House Republican Caucus, voted against the record-high State budget and criticized the tax hikes and bloated spending contained within the Democrats’ plan.

“In the early morning hours, Illinois Democrats passed the largest budget in state history. In just six years under Governor Pritzker, State spending has increased by more than $13 billion, a 32 percent increase. Illinois working families and seniors cannot afford to pay for all this massive spending, especially at a time when so many are struggling with high inflation, high interest rates, and persistently high unemployment.

“This budget includes over $1 billion in additional revenue, raising taxes on Illinois families and businesses while providing minimal tax relief. Adding insult to injury, the Democrats are giving tax breaks to Hollywood studios and Green New Deal environmentalists, while raising taxes on small businesses across the state. The Democrats’ spending plan raids the Road Fund to help pay for Chicago’s mass transit mess. It includes $625 million in new pork projects for Democrat legislators. And worst of all, this budget spends $1 billion on taxpayer-funded benefits for migrants and undocumented immigrants.

“This record-high budget does not reflect the shared priorities of Illinois families.

“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 has been dedicated to services for 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. 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.”