Update from Springfield
Last week, Governor JB Pritzker was sworn in for his second term on January 9, 2023. In his remarks, he highlighted his policy priorities, which included improving and expanding access to education through preschool and college, as well as increasing the availability of mental health and substance abuse treatment. The Arc of Illinois remains hopeful that the FY24 proposed budget, to be delivered February 15, 2023, will include at least the amount recommended by the Guidehouse Study for FY24 as well as $152M that was missing from FY23.
Before the lame duck session of the 102nd General Assembly ended, lawmakers secured $12.5M in a supplemental bill to address the Direct Support Professional workforce crisis through financial incentives for recruitment and retention. While the $12.5M falls far short of the $56M requested, we are grateful for the Members who supported this measure.
Members of the Illinois 103rd General Assembly were sworn in on January 11,2023. Democrats have the majority in both the House (78-40) and Senate (40-19). Senate President Don Harmon (39th) and House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (7th) both retained their leadership positions. Republican State Senator John Curran (41st) was elected Senate minority leader and Representative Tony McCombie (89th) was elected House minority leader and the first woman to hold this title.
Additionally, Speaker Welch announced his leadership team:
• State Rep. Robyn Gabel (18th) – Majority Leader
• State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (92nd) – Speaker Pro Tempore /Chief Budgeteer
• State Rep. Mary E. Flowers (31st) – Deputy Majority Leader / Dean of the Caucus
• State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (2nd) – Deputy Majority Leader
• State Rep. Jay Hoffman (113th) – Assistant Majority Leader
• State Rep. Natalie Manley (98th) – Assistant Majority Leader
• State Rep. Kambium Buckner (26th) – Assistant Majority Leader
• State Rep. Aaron Ortiz (1st) – Assistant Majority Leader
• State Rep. Barbara Hernandez (50th) – Assistant Majority Leader
• State Rep. Marcus Evans, Jr. (33rd) – Assistant Majority Leader
• State Rep. Robert Rita (28th) – Assistant Majority Leader
• State Rep. Kelly Burke (36th) – Assistant Majority Leader
• State Rep. Theresa Mah (24th) – Majority Conference Chair
• State Rep. Nicholas K. Smith (34th) – Majority Officer / Sergeant at Arms