Gov. Pritzker’s proposed FY 22 budget reflects efforts to stabilize the budget despite shortfalls in our state’s revenues under the ongoing fiscal toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At $1.8 billion, the budget hole is significant. Instead of balancing the budget through cuts to programs that desperately need funding– programs that guarantee clean water, support local food producers, provide a lifeline for renewable energy– the governor’s FY 22 budget proposes eliminating $900 million in corporate tax breaks.
Here is a look deeper:
Local Food and Sustainable Agriculture
- The Governor recommends a total increase of $1.35 million to the Department of Agriculture’s budget.
- The Fall Covers for Spring Savings program, which provides cover crop insurance discounts to farmers is appropriated at $300,000, equal to last year.
- Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD’s) funding is set at $8.2 million, which is flat to FY21. This amount will fully fund staffing, but not programs at SWCDs.
- Local Healthy Foods Incentives program, which provides a matching grant for SNAP purchases at farmers markets, is set with proposed funding at $500,000 (funded through Department of Human Services).
Clean Water Resources
- The Governor recommends a slight increase of $2.9 million for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the headcount capacity is level to the FY21 budget at 768.
- Continues funding of $2.5 million for the Brandon Road Project which aims to block invasive carp species from entering the Great Lakes ecosystem.
- $5 M annual appropriation for the Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant Program.
- Capital funds at $450 million in new appropriations for wastewater and $200 million for drinking water infrastructure projects in local communities.
- Reappropriates $39.5 million for DNR flood control projects.
- Funds coal ash remediation at $52.8 million.
Open Space and Conservation
- $2.5 million increase for the Department of Natural Resources budget over FY 21, which is mostly from federal funding.
- Open Space Land Acquisition and Development fund is swept at $50 million.
- A capital reappropriation of $33.2 million to support continued investments in land acquisition in the coming years, but with no new funding.
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
- $2 million to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy programming targeted from the Renewable Energy Resources Trust Fund.
- $43M is appropriated from the Renewable Energy Resources Fund for the Illinois Solar for All program.
- The Green Era Renewable Energy and Urban Farming Campus, which will receive a $2 million grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity made possible by Rebuild Illinois.
- $70M reappropriation for electrification infrastructure that will be funded through a new Transportation Electrification Grant Program.
- Nearly all of the Volkswagen settlement funding has not been spent and $89 million was reappropriated for FY2022.
- Proposes the state retain 10% of sales tax revenues that would otherwise be distributed to local transportation districts. The state has retained 5% of these revenues the past few years, and the Governor estimates this would save $52 million in FY 22.
- $100 million increase in the portion of state sales tax sharing covered by the Road Fund (increasing this amount to $250 million).
- $4.5 billion reappropriation of capital funding for mass transit projects.
- Funding to re-start the composting and recycling grant program was not included.