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State budget approved: What’s in it and what opponents objected to

May 28, 2023

SPRINGFIELD — The 2023 spring legislative session came to an end in the early hours of Saturday morning after the Illinois House gave its approval to a $50.6 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year that begins July 1.

The 73-38 party-line vote came around 2:30 a.m. after lengthy debate during which Democrats called the budget “balanced” and “compassionate” while Republicans claimed it masks hidden costs and fails to address the state’s most urgent priorities.

“This budget reaffirms our shared commitment to fiscal responsibility while making transformative investments in the children and families of Illinois that will be felt for years to come,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement after the vote. “I look forward to signing this budget making child care and education more accessible, health care more affordable, and our state’s business and economic position even stronger.”

Lawmakers had to jump through some procedural hoops to meet constitutional requirements while still passing the bill in time to leave Springfield for the bulk of Memorial Day weekend. That’s because the Illinois Constitution requires bills to be read into the record by title on three different days before a vote can be taken.

The Senate passed the budget bill late Thursday night, sending it to the House where it got its first reading shortly thereafter. The House reconvened Friday evening, gave the budget a brief hearing before reading it into the record for a second time, and finally adjourned shortly after midnight Saturday morning. Eight minutes later, the House reconvened yet again for a final vote.

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