Catching up with Coffey

Keeping you caught up with issues impacting our state and our community.


Economic Forecast for FY24. In sharing this forecast with the House Revenue Committee, the Commission also updated its FY23 Revenue Estimate, the estimate covering the now-more-than-half-completed fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. Although numbers are still coming on for FY23, the State now has an improved picture of how the revenues for this year are likely to end up.  

CGFA now estimates that FY23 revenues will total $51.9 billion, which is a $575 million increase over CGFA’s previous FY23 estimate and a $545 million increase over the Governor’s FY23 estimate published in February. The increase in base FY23 revenue assumptions by CGFA led to a higher FY24 revenue estimate compared to the numbers from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), with FY24 expected to bring in $50.4 billion in revenue – a $465 million increase over the FY24 estimate projected by GOMB.

In a CGFA Report section entitled “The Economy,” CGFA analysts pointed to gathering uncertainties on the U.S. and Illinois economic horizon that make this healthy picture highly uncertain as the State looks forward to FY24, the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2023.

Ongoing economic contractions in many U.S. economic sectors, continuing inflation, sharply rising interest rates, and a significant decline in the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) variable used as a gauge of the health of the U.S. manufacturing sector, all combine to signal potential troubles ahead. Overall throughout the U.S., real GDP is expected to grow only 0.7% in 2023 and only 1.1% in 2024, numbers that reflect a significant possibility that a brief, shallow recession may occur during several of the economic quarters in this two-year period.


House Republicans renew call for ethics reform to combat corruption.Illinois House Republicans are demanding more ethics reforms on the one-year anniversary of former House Speaker Mike Madigan’s indictment on federal corruption charges.

“Ethics and corruption are one of the top priorities of the House Republican Caucus and one of the things that needs to change in the most dramatic way in the state of Illinois,” said Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria). […]

The caucus argues that Illinois lags behind other states in enacting meaningful legislation to eliminate conflicts of interest and empower the Legislative Inspector General. Republicans told reporters Thursday that lawmakers need to choose between personal profit and public service.

Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Effingham) said he feels the revolving door between lawmakers and lobbyists is a joke, even though state lawmakers approved a one-year window for the revolving door last year.

“We need nothing less than the strongest anti-corruption safeguards in the country to start to restore some much-needed credibility here and to ensure that corrupt politicians like Mike Madigan never get the kind of power over the citizens that they’ve had in this state ever again,” Wilhour said.


House Republicans want clarity from Attorney General concerning enforcement of unconstitutional firearm ban. State Representative Dan Caulkins participated in a press conference on Wednesday with the Illinois State Rifle Association and his House Republican colleagues, Representatives Cabello, Elik, Tipsword, and Windhorst to urge the Illinois Attorney General to provide more clarity to law-abiding gun owners concerning last Friday’s court decision ruling that the firearm ban signed by Governor Pritzker is unconstitutional.

“Our Second Amendment rights are under attack,” said Rep. Caulkins. “The court ruled the firearm ban unconstitutional last Friday and law-abiding gun owners deserve to know whether or not the Attorney General is going to continue enforcing the unconstitutional firearm ban.”

On Friday, March 3, Macon County Circuit Court Judge Rodney Forbes ruled the firearm ban to be unconstitutional. This ruling was in response to Rep. Caulkins’ lawsuit filed in Macon County concerning the firearm ban signed into law on January 10th by Governor JB Pritzker.

The Illinois State Rifle Association weighed in by releasing the following statement, “After reviewing with counsel the Macon County Circuit Court’s decision, based on how the decision is not explicitly limited to one named person or group of persons, and based on how the Opinion clearly finds the challenged law unconstitutional on a facial basis as opposed to being unconstitutional as-applied to any particular person or persons, the ISRA believes that the Macon County decision is meant to be read to apply to all persons in the State. We acknowledge that the language therein also seems aimed towards facilitating an Illinois Supreme Court review, and we are confident that the skillful attorneys representing the plaintiffs will successfully present their arguments to that Court at the appropriate time.”


McCombie Files Public Safety Legislative Package. House Minority Leader Tony McCombie has filed several bills in a robust legislative package aimed at improving public safety and reducing crime throughout Illinois. McCombie’s initiative will address public safety by focusing on the rising fentanyl epidemic, gun violence, and the systemic issues of the SAFE-T Act. The five bills include the following:

  • HB1466 – Allows qualified retired law enforcement officers to receive school resource officer training from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board, so they can be employed at schools. 
  • HB3203 – Allows pharmacists to sell fentanyl test strips over-the-counter so the public can test for the presence of fentanyl.
  • HB3210 – Elevates the criminal charges against a person knowingly and unlawfully selling or dispensing any scheduled drug containing a detectable amount of fentanyl. 
  • HB3209 – The Protect our Victims Act, prevents the defense from compelling a complaining witness to testify during a hearing to deny the defendant pretrial release.
  • HB3214 – Requires the Cook County State’s Attorney to file a written statement with the court if a plea deal is accepted from a defendant who is charged with an offense involving the illegal use or possession of a firearm.

“This package of bills is about making our neighborhoods safer, and looking at how we can best do that by addressing the underlining issues like the opioid epidemic, gun violence, and the ongoing implications of the faulted SAFE-T Act,” continued McCombie. “These are real issues affecting our communities every day, and it’s important that these bills advance so we work toward building safer communities across Illinois.”

Since its adoption back in 2021, the SAFE-T Act has been amended four different times and is still facing uncertainty due to impending lawsuits against its constitutionality and questions of implementation at the local level. McCombie’s legislation, HB3209, is an initiative to protect victims of crime—who have been against the odds of the new law.

“We have seen victims’ rights be sidelined through the SAFE-T Act and it’s something that needs to be rectified if we are truly going to make our neighborhoods safer; it means we stop empowering criminals,” continued McCombie.

The legislation coincides with the Republican-led working group prioritizing public safety issues that go well beyond the SAFE-T Act. State Representative Patrick Windhorst has taken the lead on the Improving Public Safety working group, which is navigating how to further address the rising crime rates in Illinois neighborhoods.

“Policies passed in Springfield have had detrimental effects on safety across our state—and this reality is hitting families in every community on a daily basis,” said Rep. Windhorst. “Leader McCombie’s legislation is a step forward to fixing that discrepancy and I’m proud to support that measure.”

McCombie’s bills have been filed in the Illinois House and can be tracked here as they move through the legislative process in the coming weeks.