Windhorst: Governor’s Proposed Budget Spends Hundreds of Millions More on Immigrant Crisis

SPRINGFIELD, IL….After listening to Governor JB Pritzker deliver his 6th annual Budget and State of the State Address, House Republican Floor Leader State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) says he is looking forward to the legislature engaging in good-faith negotiations to settle on a spending plan for FY 2025. The combined Budget and State of the State Address revealed Gov. Pritzker’s plan to spend $52.7 billion, which is a $2.29 billion increase compared to the FY24 enacted budget – a 4.5% increase. Gov. Pritzker proposed increasing spending for the ongoing migrant housing and health care crisis in Chicago. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget has projected that the State of Illinois may face a budget deficit of $775 million if spending cuts are not made.

Windhorst says the Budget Address marks the start of the process, not the end.

“The Budget Address is often considered the real ‘start’ of the Legislative Session. We know now what the Governor is thinking, where his priorities are, and we are learning how our colleagues are reacting to those priorities,” Windhorst said. “In recent years, the legislature has been controlled by supermajorities of Democrats who have unfortunately gone behind closed doors, negotiated budgets in secret, and dropped spending plans on lawmakers at the 11th hour with very little time for anyone to be able to read and understand hundreds of pages containing billions in spending. I sincerely hope this year will be different, but we will have to see as the Session unfolds if that is the case.”

Governor Pritzker spent a significant portion of his speech discussing the ongoing migrant housing and health care crisis that has cost the state of Illinois billions of dollars since President Biden ended Trump-era immigration policies. With no end in sight to the influx of immigrants coming from all over the world, Windhorst cautioned that Illinois taxpayers are tapped out, and can no longer be expected to cover the high cost of failed sanctuary state policies.

“I’m not in agreement with The Governor’s plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more on housing undocumented immigrants and paying for them to have top-of-the-line health care coverage,” Windhorst said. “Illinois taxpayers have been on the hook for billions of dollars in spending to cover the soaring costs of the Sanctuary City of Chicago’s failure to properly address this crisis. I disagree that more tax dollars should be spent in the coming fiscal year on this failed experiment. We must repeal sanctuary city and sanctuary state policies, and President Biden must take action to close and secure the southern border. That’s the only real way we will stem the tide and end this crisis.”

Windhorst says one major piece missing from Pritzker’s spending plan is permanent tax relief for working families struggling under the weight of 40-year high inflation and high taxes.

“Inflation has come down from record highs, but it is still too high. Energy prices are too high. Taxes are too high. Our working families and individuals are paying the second-highest property taxes in the country. Our businesses are paying the 3rd highest corporate taxes in the country. People are tapped out,” Windhorst said. “I favor a budget that trims spending, provides permanent tax relief on groceries, medicine, gas, and school supplies, and prioritizes the care of Illinois citizens over spending billions on undocumented immigrants. I will continue to call for these changes as budget negotiations continue throughout the remainder of the legislative Session.”