Video of the Illinois House Speaker

Illinois House Democrats Tackle Constituent Concerns from Economic Relief to Affordable Healthcare and Crime

From economic relief for families to crime and affordable healthcare, Democrats in the Illinois House are closing this legislative session with Illinoisans top of mind.

House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch joined Governor JB Pritzker, and Senator Don Harmon to pass a balanced budget for the fourth consecutive year.  The Democrats’ fiscally responsible budget eliminates bill backlog, and includes tax breaks and economic relief for families while also funding education and public safety.

“We are getting it done for the people of Illinois,” said Speaker of the Illinois House, Emanuel “Chris” Welch. “This budget lets Illinoians know that we hear them.”

Legislators worked to finalize a budget that invests $235 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to the Reimagine Public Safety Act aimed at early crime intervention. The budget suspends the state’s grocery tax, freezes the gas tax, and provides a new property rebate for homeowners. The budget expands the Earned Income Tax Credit and provides direct checks to working families at $50 per person and $100 for up to three children per family.  It directs $1 billion to the state’s “rainy day” fund, which had been spent down to essentially nothing under former Gov. Bruce Rauner. The budget eliminates the state’s bill backlog, invests $350 million in new funding in public school classrooms, and provides new funding for public colleges, universities, and student aid.

Additional Democratic priorities passed during this session include making health care more affordable and protecting women’s rights.  They capped double-digit premium increases, capped prescription drug prices, and capped the cost of insulin. Democrats also passed HB 1464, which protects reproductive health by blocking efforts by extreme politicians in other states to sanction providers for sup.

“Thank you all for sticking around for the final days of this legislative session,” said Speaker Welch as he closed the session on the floor. “Though this legislative session was condensed, I truly believe the facts will show there was no shortage of productivity. We passed a fiscally and socially responsible budget that responds directly to the needs of families across this state. With inflation surging to its highest in four decades, it was our responsibility as lawmakers to put money back into the pockets of hard-working Illinoisans. That’s what we did here today. We also passed a public safety package that addresses the very real concerns in our communities while also targeting the root cause of violence…I am incredibly proud of the work that we have accomplished in this session together.