Proposed Budget - Fiscal Year 2024
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker released his fiscal 2024 budget proposal on February 15, which calls for operating expenditures from all funds of $118.89 billion, a 2.3 percent decline from fiscal 2023’s enacted level. General fund expenditures are estimated to be $48.31 billion in fiscal 2024, a 2.3 percent increase from fiscal 2023’s enacted level, while other state funds are estimated at $50.15 billion, a 1.7 percent increase from fiscal 2023’s enacted appropriation. On the other hand, federal funds are estimated at $20.43 billion, an 18.7 percent decline from fiscal 2023. General fund revenues are estimated to be $49.9 billion, a 2.7 percent decline from fiscal 2023’s estimated level. The budget includes a $1.9 billion rainy day fund and assumes a general fund surplus of $303 million.
Proposed Budget Highlights
The proposed budget for fiscal 2024 builds on four years of historical fiscal progress with balanced budgets, six credit rating upgrades, a growing rainy day fund, and the elimination of the bill backlog. The budget proposal fully funds the certified pension contribution of $9.8 billion while making an additional contribution of $200 million. The recommended budget also makes transformative, generational investments in early childhood education and childcare, the teacher pipeline, higher education, and efforts to fight poverty. Highlights of the budget include:
Early Childhood Education (Birth to Age 5)
- Provides $250 million for the first year of the Smart Start Illinois early childhood initiative, a multi-year program that takes a comprehensive investment approach to prepare children to be lifelong learners.
- Targeted investments include the early childhood block grant; childcare workforce compensation contracts; early intervention programs; capital funds for early childhood providers; upgrades to the childcare payment management system; launching the Dolly Parton Imagination library statewide; and federal funding for the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Scholarships.
- Continues a focus on equitably serving every child with adequate funding
- Includes a $350 million increase for evidence-based funding; a $86.4 million increase for transportation and special education grants; the launch of a three-year pilot program to direct $70 million per year towards improving the teacher pipeline; and $3 million for computer science education investments.
- Increases college affordability and expands economic opportunity for students.
- Includes an $100 million increase for Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding; a 7 percent increase for public universities and community college operations; new funding to support community college investments; $2.8 million for the Minority Teacher Scholarship program; and $25 million for the Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare (PATH) Workforce Program.
Social Service Programs
- Provides $350 million in total funding for Home Illinois, a program aimed at the prevention of homelessness, providing crisis response, expanding housing support, and increasing job opportunities for the homeless.
- Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS): continues rate reform for private sector providers; focuses on protecting DCFS workers; funding to hire 192 staff to support caseloads; a $41 million increase for the rollout of the Child Welfare Information System; $30 million for the Level of Care Support Services capital grants; and $2 million for 130 additional scholarship awards.
- Department of Human Services: proposes a $200 million increase for developmental disability services; a $50 million increase for TANF; funding for the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation; and supports mental health.
- Healthcare and Family Services: includes a 1.2 percent growth for Medicaid liability; adapts to the end of the public health emergency; funds an increase in reimbursement rates for providers; raises the asset limit for seniors; and directs funding to grow the healthcare workforce.
- Other recommendations include: $45 million for public health IT improvements; $8.5 million to respond to unexpected public health threats; $7 million to improve public health communications; increased funding for the Community Care Program for seniors; an $8 million increase for the home-delivered meals program; $28.5 million to help open a Chicago veterans’ home; and partnering with DHS to assess the mental health needs of veterans.
Public Safety and Violence Prevention
- State Police: includes funding for 200 additional troopers, the Decatur Forensic laboratory, and motor vehicle and body camera cloud storage.
- Emergency Management Agency: provides additional funding for the Illinois Nonprofit Security Grant Program, maintains funding for the Safe2Help tip line, and includes a risk analysis of 12 levees adjacent to the Mississippi River.
- Department of Corrections: provides funds to hire staff and reduce reliance on overtime, expand a construction workforce training program, make nutritional improvements at correctional facilities, and increase IT investments.
- Law Enforcement Training Standards Board: funds camera grants to local law enforcement and allocates funds for recruitment and retention of officers.
- Also provides funding to various state agencies to support violence prevention.
- Recommendations include continued funding for core initiatives; seeding the Illinois Grocery Initiative to address food insecurity; supporting the Social Equity Cannabis Loan program; incentivizing minority-owned business retention; creating a new office of outdoor recreation; and funding capital grants.
Environmental and Natural Resources
- Department of Natural Resources: includes funding to support department activities, Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Grants, blocking invasive carp species, and flood hazard mitigation.
- Environmental Protection Agency: Directs federal funds to household energy efficiency rebates, water infrastructure programs, lead service line replacement, and air permitting and inspection activities. Also funds electric vehicle rebates.