- Published: Monday, April 18, 2022 08:55 AM
With the spring legislative session over, I’m proud of all we accomplished in Springfield and we were able to tackle our top priorities in a shortened session. We passed a responsible budget, addressed the increase in crime and fought for all Illinois residents.
As we return home, I wanted to give you an update on the legislation I championed on behalf of the 1st District and our top priorities in the budget.
I encourage you to contact my office to discuss the issues most important to you—give us a call at 773-869-9050 or visit SenatorTonyMunoz.com/contact-us to share your ideas.
All the best,
State Senator | 1st District
Addressing catalytic converter thefts
Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed. To address this, I sponsored House Bill 107 that would require record keeping on the purchase of catalytic converters and prohibit a recyclable metal dealer from purchasing one with cash. Read more here.
Keeping people safe on expressways
In response to an event that stopped traffic on Eisenhower Expressway, I lead a measure, House Bill 5439, that would prohibit a street sideshow on any street or highway that causes traffic to slow or stop. Read more here.
Police Appreciation Week
As a former Chicago police officer, I understand the oath that these men and women take when they put on the badge. To honor law enforcement officials who keep our communities safe, I supported a proposal making the week of May 15 to May 21, 2022 Police Appreciation Week in Illinois. Read more here.
Getting Illinois back on track
In recent years, Illinois has taken strides toward strong economic recovery by making responsible fiscal decisions. Following numerous negotiations and appropriation meetings, the General Assembly has advanced the Fiscal Year 23 state budget and an additional tax relief plan to support students, working families and our communities.
Taking recommendations from the governor’s proposal, I am pleased to see investments in public safety and education were included to help address the needs of our state’s residents.
$1.83 Billion in Tax Relief for Working Families
- Suspend the tax on groceries for one year – saving consumers $400 million
- Freeze the motor fuel tax for six months – saving consumers $70 million
- Double the property tax rebate – up to $300 per household
- Permanently expand the earned income tax credit – putting $100 million per year back into the pockets of working families who need it most
- Eligibility expanded to taxpayers 18-24 years of age and 65 and older as well as taxpayers who use an individual taxpayer identification number, which typically occurs for undocumented filers.
- Provide direct checks to working families
- $50 per individual
- $100 per child, up to three children per family
- Income limits: $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for joint filers
- Back to school tax relief for families and teachers – saving consumers $50 million
- Help teachers buy supplies for their classroom though a tax credit of up to $500
Helping Businesses Bounce Back
The budget helps businesses bounce back in all corners of our state by suspending license fees for bars and restaurants and giving them grants to assist in recovery. We’re also making it more attractive and attainable for small businesses in Illinois by revitalizing commercial corridors and creating jobs.
The budget allocates $20 million for grants to attract and retain businesses in Illinois – encouraging people to start businesses here in Illinois and, in turn, create jobs – and another $350,000 for job training and employee development. It also includes $50 million for the Employer Training Investment Program -- $5 million of which will be used for the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment’s small business support efforts.
Paying Down Debt and Fulfilling Pension Promises
The budget meets our full pension commitment while adding $200 million to pay down debt, bringing the total pension payment over what is required to $500 million dollars and saving taxpayers more than $1.8 billion. To save for an unforeseen crisis and protect the budget from future expenses, the Rainy Day Fund is appropriated $1 billion.
Public Safety & Violence Prevention
To invest in public safety, the approved plan allocates more than $200 million on top of the governor’s proposal to support public safety measures, invest in the tools law enforcement needs to prevent and solve crimes and strengthen investments in violence prevent programs that keep communities safe.
Investing in Education
The FY 23 budget invests in our children’s future by appropriating nearly $600 million in early childhood education and keeps our commitment to fully funding K-12 schools by dedicating an additional $350 million to fund the evidence-based funding formula.
College applicants would also see an additional $122 million for the needs-based MAP grant program – a total of $601 million in assistance would be available. This investment will make financial aid available to at least 24,000 more students and increase the maximum grant award to $8,508 – which is nearly half a year’s worth of tuition at a state university.
Prioritizing Mental Health
The budget puts $5 million in funding for Crisis Response services for individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis and call into the 9-8-8 hotline. Additionally, it calls for an increase of $50 million for addiction treatment services.