Reports & Analysis

Analysis: Governor’s FY2025 Budget Address

In his sixth State of the State and Budget address, Governor JB Pritzker unveiled his administration’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25). While the General Assembly won’t approve the final budget until late May, this Governor’s proposed budget signals the administration’s priorities. A state budget is an expression of our leaders’ values. They fund what they deem most important among an array of ever-competing priorities, and this year, we’ll be vying for environmental funding in an evolving fiscal landscape.

Over the past three years, Illinois enjoyed projected budget surpluses. But in FY25, Illinois faces an estimated $891 million deficit. Increased program costs and relatively level revenues will make funding all the state’s priorities difficult. We’ll have our work cut out as we advocate to close budget gaps for a few key environmental programs. That’s why our budget analysis is critical as we head into the bulk of the legislative session through the end of the budget process.

IEC has crunched the numbers and taken a good look at the big picture of where the proposed budget measures up to the environmental challenges we face and the areas where it has fallen short. Here are the highlights:

Governor Pritzker continued his climate leadership through his FY25 budget. He has proposed increased funding to reduce emissions from climate change through electrification, energy efficiency, and support of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act. Highlights include: 

  • $266 million in Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding for energy efficiency and electrification home rebate programs
  • $250,000 in funding for the Illinois soil health program

Disappointments in the proposed budget include:

  • only $20 million of new funding to address lead service line replacement and 
  • a reduction in funding to the soil and water conservation districts.  
  • The Cover Crop Discount Program funding remains steady at $660,000. We are calling legislative leaders to increase the fund to $3.1 million to cover 500,000 total acres.

The budget introduced is just the first step in this process. As the legislative session progresses, IEC and our affiliates will continue to advocate for our environmental priorities and monitor the budgetary progress over the next few months, addressing budget shortfalls.

Below is our complete initial analysis of Governor Pritzker’s proposed FY25 state budget.

Sustainable Agriculture and Conservation

  • Adds an additional 100 staff for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to modernize and rebuild staffing, increasing General Revenue funds from $75 million to $93 million.
  • Adds $250,000 for Soil Health Assessment as passed by SB1701 in 2023
  • Natural Areas Acquisition Fund increase to $13 million
  • The Fall Covers for Spring Savings program, which provides cover crop insurance discounts to farmers, is appropriated at $660,000, level with FY24
  • $13 million Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs), which is a decrease of over $7 million from FY24 
  • $1.2 million was reappropriated for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.
  • $30 million for new grants from the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development fund
  • $1.5 million for East St. Louis Flood Mitigation Planning – Cost Share Agreement 
  • $1 million for the Lake County greenway project
  • Nearly $ 9 million to Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) for nonpoint water pollution projects
  • $2.5 million for a Youth and Young Conservation Education program for underserved and underrepresented youth
  • $2.5 million for the new Office of Outdoor Recreation to promote tourism at destinations around the state and grow Illinois’ outdoor recreation economy
  • nearly $3.5 million for the Natural Areas Stewardship Program

Clean Energy

  • $56 million from the Renewable Energy Resources Fund for the Illinois Solar for All program
  •  $266.8 million in federal funding for cost-saving energy efficiency improvements (IRA), including $131 million for the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act and $132 million for the HOMES program for energy efficiency
  • $28 million is appropriated from the Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Initiative Fund
  • $75 million in new appropriation authority and $140.5 million in reappropriation authority for the Abandoned Mine Lands Program
  • $50 million for coal ash remediation and closure program
  • $3 million from IRA for Climate Pollution Reduction Grant planning, including zero waste initiatives
  • $2 million for the Climate Jobs Institute in higher education
  • $200,000 to the IEPA for Energy Efficiency Grants under the Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, and Coal Resources Development Law of 1997 and $2 million for Renewable Energy Grants

Equitable Transportation

  • A total of $348 million for transit facility and fleet improvements statewide
  • Nearly $116 million through Rebuild Illinois funding bus shelters, stations, and maintenance facilities that will expand and improve service in downstate Illinois 
  • Nearly $128 million for statewide projects that include biking and walking paths, trails, streetscape beautification, and other improvements through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program
  • Increases Vehicle Inspection Fund by $9 million to support costs of new vehicle inspections 
  • Shifts $175 million of funding from GRF to come from the road fund for northeastern Illinois public transit

Electric Vehicles (EVs)

  • $12 million for EV rebates 
  • $24.8 million for the purchase of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure by Central Management Services
  • Funding for an electric vehicle coordinator and $10 million for CEJA admin costs, including state fleet electrification, with a planned purchase of 50 new state electric vehicles.
  • $9 million in EV and advanced manufacturing curriculum at community colleges
  • $10 million in EV-focused vocational training through the Clean Energy and Technical Education pilot program

Clean Water

  • $50 million for the Brandon Road Ecosystem project to block invasive carp species from entering the Great Lakes ecosystem
  • Nearly $622 million for IIJA water infrastructure programs, including $70 million to combat emerging contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) pollution in small and disadvantaged communities
  • $20 million for new Lead Service Line Replacement Inventory (LSLRI) grants 
  • Capitol budget includes $340.8 million reappropriation and $259.6 million new appropriation for Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) loans
  • $15.1 million in federal funds for the Great Lakes Environmental Justice Program 
  • $25.5 million in capital reappropriations for dam and waterway projects

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