Catching Up with Coffey


Pritzker signs largest budget in state history; $53.1 billion spending plan includes tax hikes, politician pay raises and a billion dollars for non-citizens. On Wednesday, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law a partisan $53.1 billion spending plan, the largest budget in state history. The Fiscal Year 2025 budget is a whopping $2.6 billion more than last year’s enacted budget and includes pay raises for politicians and a staggering $1 billion for non-citizens. Moreover, Democrats voted for $1 billion in tax hikes to pay for their record-breaking spending.

House Republicans were united in our opposition to the Democrats’ massive tax-and-spend plan and unanimously voted against the FY25 budget and tax increases.

Over the last four years, the Democrat-controlled General Assembly has joined Governor Pritzker in a voracious appetite for increased government spending. Since the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, Democratic lawmakers have voted to grow state expenditures by more than $13 billion, from nearly $40 billion in 2020 to more than $53 billion this year and have forced hard-working Illinoisans to foot the bill.

House Minority Leader Tony McCombie Statement (R-Savanna)

“This budget is a negligent political document that comes at a massive price to Illinois families. The partisan approach by Democratic leaders has pushed the state onto a failed path of taxes and overspending while ignoring necessary structural and ethical reforms.

“Over the past few weeks, the House has passed bills that address vital needs in the state. The Illinois House Republican caucus, representing parts of all 102 counties, is responsible for holding the majority party accountable on spending. This is especially important with the passage of a budget with bloated political projects, taxpayer-funded benefits for non-citizens, and politician pay raises, which come at the expense of the state’s most vulnerable residents.”

Rep. Coffey said this:

“Democrats in the General Assembly worked behind closed doors to craft a record-spending $53.1 billion budget for the State of Illinois. This massive budget was passed without Republican support and is $2.6 billion more than last year’s budget. Nearly $1 billion in tax hikes will be felt across the state as taxpayers brace themselves to support the ongoing migrant crisis. I am once again disappointed to see hard-working Illinois families being left behind again with no help from their government.”

“Illinois has the second highest property tax rate in the nation and one of the top priorities for the majority party is to use ARPA funds for rental assistance. To move our state in the right direction, we must have fiscal responsibility, public policies that benefit residents, and lower taxes for individuals, families, and employers. The over-taxation on residents and businesses to fund state programs is hurting possible economic growth for the 95th District and the State of Illinois.”

As FY24 nears end, general funds revenues fall short of year-earlier mark. The May 2024 report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) showed a major decline in the State’s monthly cash flow. When comparing May 2024 general funds revenues with comparable revenues from May 2023, the May 2024 cash flow numbers fell short by $213 million. These are numbers that reflect the tax payments and federal funds payments that are essential to paying the State’s day-to-day bills.

The CGFA report indicated that two major reasons for the May 2024 shortfall were a sharp decline in intakes of federal funds from Washington, D.C. (down $212 million from May 2023) and a decline of $91 million in personal income tax payments to the State of Illinois. While the federal funds downturn was the largest single slice of the overall decline, this is a cash flow line that fluctuates sharply from month to month and generates a great deal of random “noise.” The decline on individual and personal income tax payments, on the other hand, is a cash flow line that includes payments withheld by employers from employee wages. Stagnating job numbers and wage payments could be leading to serious changes in this line, and these changes could challenge State accountants and budget officers in the fast-approaching FY25. The $53.1 billion budget just signed into law by Gov. Pritzker contains optimistic assumptions about tax payments and cash flows to the State of Illinois in FY25. These optimistic projections include blue-sky forecasts for State of Illinois personal income tax revenues, even though the current numbers strongly indicate that caution is warranted. The CGFA report was published on Tuesday, June 4.


Democrats needed three tries to pass $1.1 billion revenue plan just before 5 a.m.  After a near-derailment and an all-nighter to wrap up the General Assembly’s spring session, supermajority Democrats in the Illinois House gave final legislative approval to the state budget as the sun rose.

Despite holding 78 seats in the chamber, it took Democrats three tries to reach the 60 votes needed to approve more than $1.1 billion in revenue increases, including a tax hike on sportsbooks and businesses, to balance the $53.1 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2025. 

The spending plan passed 65-45, with seven Democrats joining Republicans in opposition.

The revenue plan that capped the voting on the budget-related bills was more of a challenge. House Bill 4951 fell one vote short of passage twice after 4 a.m. due to attendance issues. On the third try – after about an hour of procedural maneuvering by Republicans that left Democrats reeling – the bill passed at 4:43 a.m. with the minimum 60 votes necessary.

“You – you passed these rules,” Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, scolded Democrats after the majority party voted to suspend the House rules in order to bring the revenue plan up for a vote a third and final time. 

“I think it should be clear to everyone in the state what this supermajority is willing to do to ram a tax increase down the throats of the citizens of Illinois at 4:30 in the morning,” he added.


Democrats’ Election Law Change Blocked by Court. Earlier this week, Sangamon County Judge Gail Noll ruled to block a change to the state’s election law, that was pushed forward this Spring by Democrats, aiming to protect incumbents in the upcoming election cycle.

The law in question, which would stifle the ability of the Republican party to fill office vacancies, and place meaningless non-binding questions on the ballot to drive Democrat voters to the polls, faced united Republican opposition in both the Illinois House and Senate. In the ruling handed down Wednesday, Judge Noll echoed Republican concerns that this law changed the rules in the middle of the game.

“The General Assembly could make the revisions effective for the next election, rather than in the midst of the current election,” Noll wrote in her 12-page order. “Changing the rules relating to ballot access in the midst of an election cycle removes certainty from the election process and is not necessary to achieve the legislation’s proffered goal.”

While the ruling does not mean the law is entirely null and void, it is inapplicable for this year’s general election.

Read more details about the lawsuit and consequent ruling from Capitol News Illinois.