Illinois General Assembly Passes FY 21 Budget and Adjourns After COVID-19 Shortened Spring Session

May 26, 2020

The Illinois General Assembly has concluded the Spring session which was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a marathon session day to pass a full year FY21 operations and capital budget and take action on  “session agenda” items to respond to various COVID response matters, both chambers cancelled remaining Spring session days with an intent to reconvene in veto session on November 17.

The FY21 budget contains a $42.8 billion operating budget, which is a 6.8% increase over current FY20 spending. While FY21 state agency and operations spending is kept flat and in line with current FY20 spending, the higher spending is mostly attributed to mandated increased spending on items such as pensions, debt service, and healthcare.

The General Assembly estimates collecting $39.9 billion in revenue for FY21 – leaving almost a $3.0 billion shortfall. However, the Governor’s office estimated that current state revenues have decreased by $2.6 billion due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting tax loss due to economic inactivity, and projects the FY21 deficit to be between $4 to 7 billion.

In order to balance the FY21 budget, the budget will rely on the State borrowing up to $5 billion in federal assistance with the hope that the loan will be paid off, at least in part, with future federal COVID-19 stimulus funds that are anticipated in the coming months. 

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