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Making Illinois Stronger

Managing Illinois' Finances Responsibly

  • After years without a budget and the hollowing out of state government, stabilized state finances, leading to the state’s first ratings upgrades in more than 20 years, with all three major ratings agencies improving the state’s fiscal outlook
  • Nearly eliminated the state’s multi-billion-dollar bill backlog so Illinois is paying its bills on time for the first time in two decades
  • Balanced three straight budgets, investing in key priorities like education, healthcare, public safety, and human services while paying down state debt
  • Reduced the state’s structural deficit, in part by eliminating $655 million per year in unnecessary corporate tax loopholes
  • Streamlined state government operations and reduced $800 million in state spending by shedding hundreds of thousands of square feet of unused office space and by significantly advancing the sale of the inefficient James R. Thompson Center in Chicago
  • Consolidated nearly 650 downstate and suburban first responders’ pensions, with the goal of alleviating billions in local property tax burden
  • Launched a new billion-dollar cannabis industry that is now employing roughly 15,000 Illinoisans in new jobs – and more than a third of the tax revenue is coming from out-of-state customers
  • Increased share of federal dollars coming to Illinois by hundreds of millions of dollars — reducing the burden on Illinois taxpayers — with the most robust state Census count among the 10 largest states

Accelerating Economic Growth and Creating Jobs

  • Prioritized job creation, with pre-pandemic statewide unemployment reaching historic lows and with every region in the state creating jobs simultaneously for the first time in 20 years
  • Achieved 17% job growth from April 2020 to through the end of 2021, adding more than 859,000 jobs and reducing the unemployment rate from 16.5 percent to 5.7 percent
  • Reached bipartisan agreement to rebuild and modernize the state’s roads, bridges, public buildings, colleges, waterways, ports, parks, public transportation and other key infrastructure
  • Reduced taxes for up to 400,000 small businesses, allowing them to take federal tax deductions while not diminishing state revenue
  • Introduced 5-year economic plan to reinvigorate state’s economy by focusing on the nation’s fastest growing industries, with major progress achieved even during the pandemic
  • Attracted $1 billion in private/public investment in research centers of excellence focused on Illinois’ innovation industries, including the newly created Discovery Partners Institute with 15 Illinois Innovation Network startup hubs around the state
  • Created Connect Illinois, the largest broadband expansion effort in Illinois history, to make high speed internet service available to every resident and business in the state by 2024
  • Attracted $5 billion in new data center Investment to Illinois with targeted tax incentive, creating new well-paying tech and construction jobs
  • Aiming to make Illinois the “Silicon Valley” of quantum, invested in quantum computing infrastructure for University of Illinois and University of Chicago, followed by another $230 million from the federal government to create National Quantum Research Centers, and hundreds of millions in private capital
  • Created a business apprenticeship tax credit, encouraging job growth and workforce development
  • Attracted thousands of jobs in the electric vehicle industry and enacted incentives to make Illinois a national hub for EV businesses
  • Extended incentives for the television and film industry, with Illinois becoming a top-five production location and creating and supporting thousands of entertainment industry jobs
  • Invested $25 million in the Illinois Works Jobs Program to support community-based organizations’ efforts to recruit apprentices from diverse backgrounds to work on state’s massive infrastructure program
  • Set new attendance records at the Illinois State Fair in Central Illinois and a new 5-year high for attendance at the Du Quoin State Fair in Southern Illinois, bringing tens of millions of dollars to downstate small businesses
  • Created incentives for job creation on new construction and renovations in underserved communities
  • Established annual reporting on corporate board diversity for public companies to encourage greater representation
  • Appointed first ever Regulatory Innovation Officer to help make Illinois an ideal destination for innovation by monitoring and responding to emerging financial marketplace trends
  • Awarded first de novo charter in 10 years to a unique, nation-first bank operated and owned by women, focused on lifting up women-owned small businesses
  • Created two downstate Manufacturing Training Academies: an electric vehicle jobs partnership with Rivian at Heartland Community College in Normal and an Advanced Manufacturing Center at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville
  • Expanded jobs and revenue by legalizing sports betting, including allowing six new casino licenses, including downstate licenses that are already creating jobs

Addressing Climate Change and Leading the Green Economy

  • Developed incentives for electric vehicle manufacturers, battery manufacturers, and EV charging companies to build facilities and create jobs in Illinois
  • Joined the US Climate Alliance and brought word of Illinois' commitments to the world stage at the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow
  • Expanded wind and solar production to create jobs and revitalize rural communities
  • Became the first Midwest state to require 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2045, phasing out private coal by 2030 and ALL coal and natural gas by 2045
  • Doubled Illinois’ investments in renewable energy, providing long-term, stable financing and attracting new energy production and jobs to Illinois
  • Put Illinois on course to become the best state to drive an electric vehicle, offering $4,000 electric vehicle rebates to consumers and incentives for buildout of charging stations to ensure availability statewide
  • Saved thousands of jobs by preserving Illinois’ valuable zero-carbon nuclear fleet – the largest in the U.S. – at the lowest cost to ratepayers, preserving Illinois’ bridge to a 100% clean energy future. Shrank subsidy to 1/6 of the amount under the previous law.
  • Designed policies to ensure Illinois’ energy sector reflects the population it serves, with investments in workforce hubs, a path to prosperity for minority contractors, and support for Illinoisans living in environmental justice communities
  • Established a working group to ensure future vehicle purchases or leases by the State of Illinois will be low-emission and zero-emission vehicles

Investing in Early Childhood Education

  • Strengthened early education and childcare with biggest state investment ever into early childhood programs and facilities, and set a goal to make Illinois the best state in the nation for raising young families
  • Created the new Division of Early Childhood to strengthen and expand the state’s existing childcare, home visitation services and early intervention programs
  • Expanded childcare assistance to provide support for 20,000 more children
  • Increased reimbursement rates for early childhood educators, retaining and attracting them to provide better and more stable early learning for very young children
  • Improved quality in early childhood education and childcare workforce by providing scholarships to upskill educators and caregivers
  • Launched pilot program to support quality improvements for childcare providers in rural Illinois

Strengthening Elementary and Secondary Schools

  • Increased overall education funding with historic levels of Evidence Based Funding for K-12 students
  • Raised teachers’ pay and strengthened the pipeline for recruitment of new educators
  • Expanded vocational training in high schools and career and technical education
  • Made Illinois the first state in the nation to require Asian American history in public schools
  • Provided strategies and best practices for schools to ensure a welcoming, safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environment for transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming students
  • Banned school dress codes from policing hairstyles historically associated with race and ethnicity
  • Went beyond federal law to increase the time that special needs students can spend in K-12 classrooms
  • Added crisis hotline numbers to all middle school, high school, and public university student IDs
  • Launched Safe2Help Illinois statewide to provide a free, confidential, information sharing platform to help prevent bullying, suicides, and other threats of violence in schools

Making College More Affordable

  • Increased scholarship funding so that an anticipated 20,000 additional need-based grants for students will be awarded and increased the maximum size of each scholarship to a record amount
  • Increased by 40% merit scholarships for high achieving college-bound students
  • Expanded Illinois' participation in federal tuition aid, helping a record number of students afford post-secondary school
  • Restored and stabilized higher education funding after years of neglect, helping public universities and community colleges achieve credit rating upgrades

Improving Health Care Quality and Affordability

  • Provided $3.8 billion to hospitals to increase patient access to medical treatment in underserved communities - a product of the bipartisan, bicameral legislative Medicaid Working Group
  • Made Illinois the 3rd state in the nation to require insurance providers to cover substance use treatment and mental health disorders
  • Lowered the cost of prescription drugs for Illinoisans
  • Capped out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 for a 30-day supply
  • Required that telehealth doctor visits would be covered by Medicaid and insurance providers
  • Enshrined women’s reproductive rights in Illinois law in case Roe v. Wade is reversed
  • Required birth control be made available through a pharmacist, without a doctor's visit
  • Increased discrimination protections for those seeking insurance coverage for fertility-related treatments
  • Expanded health care to nearly 150,000 more Illinoisans
    • Reduced the backlog of people waiting more than 45 days for a Medicaid eligibility determination by more than 95%: down from 147,038 under the previous administration to under 3,000 cases at the end of 2021
  • Became the first state in the nation to extend full Medicaid coverage to new mothers through 12 months postpartum, a significant expansion of coverage from the previous 60-day postpartum period
  • Enacted Healthcare Affordability Act expanding healthcare for more children, pregnant women and adults
  • Increased crisis mental health services, suicide prevention, and substance use treatment
  • Improved quality of care for seniors through better funding for nursing home and in-home care
  • Provided a path to licensure for midwives to improve maternal health outcomes
  • Increased availability of affordable, accessible dental care in Illinois
  • Awarded nearly $95 Million to Equity-Focused Healthcare Collaboratives Across Illinois

Advancing Public Safety

  • In response to a surge of shootings in Chicago and other Illinois cities, launched the Reimagine Public Safety Initiative, a whole-of-government approach backed by an unprecedented $250 million commitment to reduce violence in Illinois neighborhoods
  • Enacted the most comprehensive reform to our state firearms laws in over a generation, including universal background checks on all gun sales in Illinois
    • Illinois leads the nation in completing firearms background checks to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals
  • Implemented gun dealer licensing to eliminate straw purchases and reduce gun trafficking
  • Added hundreds of new troopers to the depleted ranks of the Illinois State Police
  • Nearly eliminated the years long backlog of rape kit evidence to deliver justice to victims more quickly
  • Strengthened the Illinois State Police Division of Forensics Services, committed to building a new state-of-the-art forensics lab, and introduced rape evidence tracking tool
  • More than doubled investments in programs to interrupt and prevent violence
  • Established an Office of Firearm Violence Prevention in the Department of Human Services
  • Installed hundreds of highway cameras and doubled Illinois State Police presence on Chicago area interstates in response to on-road violence
  • Adult-use cannabis tax revenue funded $80 million in grants to reduce violence and focused on communities harmed by violence, excessive incarceration, and economic disinvestment
  • Expunged minor cannabis-related arrest records for 500,000 Illinoisans, reducing barriers to employment, housing and professional licenses
  • Established the Justice, Equity, and Opportunity (JEO) Initiative, led by the Lieutenant Governor, to advance criminal justice reform and equity-focused programs
  • Delivered millions of dollars to local fire departments to purchase firefighting and ambulance equipment
  • Required all Illinois municipalities to coordinate 911 and 988 services, with the goal of responding to mental or behavioral health emergencies with the proper emergency care and reducing the danger to those in crisis and the burden on local police
  • Elevated and strengthened safety for first responders on state highways
  • Built and will open a new mental health treatment center for incarcerated individuals who experience serious mental illness

Serving Veterans and Military Families

  • Completed construction of Chicago's first veterans' home after years of delay by the previous administration
  • Fully funded the replacement of the Quincy Veterans’ Home to remove danger to veterans In residence
  • Made in-state tuition free for veterans at our in-state public educational institutions
  • Boosted military personnel transitioning back to civilian life by giving them credit for in-service experience so they can more easily get certifications for civilian jobs
  • Achieved one of the highest staff and resident vaccination rates for veterans’ homes compared to any private or public congregate care facility in the state

Supporting Vulnerable Communities and Working Toward Justice

  • Enacted historic Black Caucus reform agenda to dismantle racism in education, economic opportunity, criminal justice and healthcare
  • Launched comprehensive overhaul of DCFS to protect vulnerable children, and hired 860 new staff, including 514 new investigators, case workers, and other direct service positions
  • Made significant improvements in DCFS hotline, nearly eliminating delays for those reporting abuse and neglect — from 58% requiring callbacks in 2019 to less than 1% in 2021
  • Provided millions of Illinoisans relief from high interest on consumer debt
  • Increased funding and quality of care for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, increasing hourly wages for workers and reducing the waiting list for Home and Community Based services
  • Dramatically improved SNAP application processing; 95 percent of applicants are processed in a timely manner, up from 62 percent in January 2019
  • Allocated $40 million for new home buyers, providing down payments and student loan repayment assistance to working class families and communities of color across the state
  • Recognized Juneteenth as an official holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States
  • Launched comprehensive approach to fighting homelessness In Illinois
  • Enhanced protections for domestic violence survivors from retaliation by their abusers
  • Protected law-abiding immigrant families from Trump administration threats of deportation
  • Revitalized Illinois’ Immigrant Welcoming Centers, which had been decimated under the previous administration
  • Supported placement of 900 U.S.-allied Afghan refugees, providing interpretation services, mental wellness, job training, legal services, health screening and housing assistance
  • Eliminated driver's license suspensions for unpaid parking tickets and other non-moving violations

Reforming Government and Working Across the Aisle

  • Worked to restore the public’s trust in government by requiring greater disclosures by lobbyists and elected officials, prohibiting lobbying while working for government, and closing loopholes that allow bad actors to game the system
  • Hired the most diverse Executive Branch in state history
  • Hired the first Chief Equity Officer in the state’s history in order to take a comprehensive approach to diversity, equity and inclusion plans throughout state agencies
  • Reduced state pension liabilities by expanding state employee pension discounted buyout program
  • Protected workers with disabilities by prohibiting Illinois from entering into contracts under the State Use program with any company that pays workers with disabilities a sub-minimum wage