SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a $42.9 billion fiscal year (FY) 2021 operating budget into law, which he said maintains funding for critical programs while advocating for a national program to support state and local governments.

Pritzker said the budget addresses the massive economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic and prioritizes education, health care, and human services. It provides authorization for Illinois to directly access the Federal Reserve Bank’s Municipal Liquidity Facility program that was signed May 29.

“Since taking office, my administration has prioritized effective and efficient government as we’ve worked to undo years of financial mismanagement while rebuilding our hollowed-out state government,” Pritzker said. “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the enormous role government plays in keeping communities safe and providing the tools people need to build better lives. While the pandemic has had a devastating impact on our state revenues, investing in our people will allow the state to rebound and recover from this pandemic as we safely re-open.”

The FY21 budget invests in criminal justice reform and ongoing COVID-19 relief as well, while fully funding the state’s pension contributions. It also directs more than $5 billion in federal aid from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other federal aid packages, to public health, social services, small businesses, local governments, and households, including funding targeted to communities disproportionately impacted by the virus.

“I will continue to advocate for a national program to support state and local governments to make up the difference in the revenues that fund vital services like hospitals and salaries for teachers and first responders,” the governor said.

Pritzker said the budget reflects reductions in operations appropriations of $200 million and another $140 million at the Department of Transportation from introduced levels and includes savings from an ongoing partial hiring freeze and restricted operations expenditures.

“COVID-19 has presented our state with unprecedented challenges to which there are no easy solutions,” State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “When I returned to Springfield last month to pass a budget for the upcoming year, it was clear we needed to take swift, substantive action to preserve our local businesses and alleviate some of the hardship so many of our residents are facing at this moment.”

The budget will go into effect on July 1, 2020, at the beginning of the state’s 2021 fiscal year. The FY20 state budget was $40.7 billion.

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