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The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget’s annually required 5-year financial projection “Illinois Economic and Fiscal Policy Report,” released 11/9/21, contains generally good news for the state budget (compared to earlier dire projections). For the current fiscal year ending on 6/30/22 (FY22), GOMB revised projected revenue upward, from $42.4B to $44.1B, which some analysts think is conservative and that the total will end up being higher than $44.1B. For FY23, GOMB is projecting a $1.5B increase over the originally enacted FY22 baseline, which is still $250 million less than the final FY22 projection of $44.1B above. In other words, FY23 still has a deficit, but the deficit is expected to be smaller (-$406M) than they thought it would be in 2019 (-$2.9B). Likewise, the FY24 shortfall was reduced from -$3.2B to -$820M. These projections remain concerning, as the structural deficit and large pension liability persist, but the situation has improved. The bill backlog is also better than recent years, with the payment cycle under 30 days. 
Congress has been working on two major pieces of infrastructure legislation this fall; one was enacted; the second is still pending Senate action. First, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, H.R. 3684) was signed by the President on 11/15/21 and is now law. This package allocates $1.2 trillion for traditional infrastructure (i.e. bricks and mortar) such as road and bridge repair, public transit improvements including passenger rail, airport and sea port upgrades, lead pipe replacement, high-speed internet expansion, and $50 million for nonprofits for the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency pilot program to help nonprofits make capital upgrades to their buildings. Detailed summaries of the IIJA are available from Independent Sector, Mayer Brown and the White House

Second, still awaiting Senate passage is the “social” or “human” infrastructure bill, the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). The House of Representatives passed the BBB on 11/19/21 and many coalition partners support some or all of the provisions of the BBB, which: includes $1.75T in investments including universal pre-kindergarten, covers the costs of child care above 7% of income, extends the expanded child tax credit and the earned income tax credit, adds Medicare coverage of hearing services, provides $150B in housing aid toward housing programs,, adds $150B for home and community-based services, includes $270M to assist states in phasing out use of 14(c) certificates and to assist in building community employment opportunities for adults with disabilities at or above minimum wage, permanently extends Money Follows the Person and Medicaid spousal impoverishment protections, makes multiple health care and Medicaid changes, and includes $1B for the direct support workforce and innovations in recruitment and retention. To pay for these programs, the package levies a new 15% tax on profitable companies with income over $1B, adds new 1% tax on stock buybacks, imposes a surtax of 5% on individuals with adjusted gross income over $10M and an additional 3% on aggregate gross income over $25M, and increases funding for IRS enforcement efforts. Additional negotiations will occur in the Senate to achieve 50 votes and may lead to the removal of some of the House provisions. It remains unclear when the Senate will vote. Detailed summaries and fact sheets of the BBB are available from National Council of Nonprofits, the White House’s Illinois-specific summary and additional statements on how the BBB helps Black, Latino/a/x, AAPI, Native American, and LGBTQI+ Communities, the Democratic Staff of House Rules Committee’s section-by-section summary, Center on Budget Policy and Priorities’ recent statement plus how BBB reduces disparities, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute summary, and Independent Sector’s Summary organized by topic.
Join us for our next webinar, State of Illinois Mid-year Update: December 15th at 2 PM

Join Illinois Partners and C&G Consulting for a state of the state update, including a mid-year financial summary, updates from veto session, and what to expect for the 2022 legislative session.

Team Member Transitions

Our Central Illinois Community Organizer and Policy Advocate, Holly Ambuehl, will be joining Forefront as their new Director of Policy. Holly has been an asset to our small but mighty team here at Illinois Partners - while she will be missed a great deal, this new leadership role at Forefront is incredibly well-deserved. Please join us in congratulating Holly, and be on the look out for a position opening at Illinois Partners in the new year.

In the meantime, we are hiring for a part-time, paid policy internship - based remotely from anywhere in Illinois. View the Position Description and share with students or University contacts!

Illinois Partners supports the work of our coalition partners advocating for Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship this year
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), Mano a Mano, Hana Center and other coalition partners are leading advocacy efforts for Congress to pass a pathway for citizenship for undocumented essential workers, immigrant youth, TPS holders, and their families. In March 2021, ICIRR demanded that a pathway to citizenship be included in the economic recovery plan known as the Build Back Better plan. Since then, ICIRR and coalition members have worked collaboratively to push for a pathway to citizenship to be included in every version of the Build Back Better Act.

On November 3, 2021, twenty-nine community leaders and allies were arrested before a crowd of over 100 supporters following a civil disobedience demonstration to demand congress pass a pathway to citizenship this year. Community leaders and allies who participated in the action spoke about why a pathway to citizenship is important to pass this year: 

Dulce Ortiz, Executive Director of Mano a Mano Family Resource Center, and Board President of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights: “There’s no business as usual while our families and communities are on the line.”

Glo Choi, community organizer with HANA Center: “We will not stop until our community gains the rights they deserve by virtue of their humanity. We will not relent, and we will not go away quietly.”

Grace Pai, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and co-chair of the ICIRR Action Council: “Stopping anti-Asian hate means ending deportations and surveillance, investing in communities, and creating a pathway to citizenship now.”
ICIRR issued an official statement about the demonstration including full statements from community leaders and allies in attendance. Photos and additional statements were featured in Borderless Magazine.

The Build Back Better Act version passed by the House includes an option for work authorization but it does not include a pathway to citizenship. ICIRR and coalition members are now focused on demanding that the Senate include a pathway to citizenship in their version of the bill. We are in solidarity and support the efforts of our coalition partners to ensure equitable recovery for everyone, including undocumented essential workers and their families.

Photo credit: Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)