Pritzker signs legislation paying off $4.1 billion in debt

Governor Pritzker Signs Landmark Legislation Paying Off $4.1 Billion in Debt
Governor Pritzker Signs Landmark Legislation Paying Off $4.1 Billion in Debt(Mike Miletich)
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 11:35 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - Gov. Pritzker announced Friday that he signed SB2803, which pays off $4.1 billion in debt and is saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments.

“Today we mark yet another milestone in getting Illinois’ fiscal house in order — paying down $4.1 billion in debt for health insurance, college programs, pensions and unemployment,” said Gov. Pritzker. “These actions are saving Illinois taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments and reducing the burden that would fall onto businesses and workers over the next decade. Democrats in the General Assembly are overcoming the difficult circumstances of our past and putting working families first.”

Pritzker laid out 4 priorities in his budget proposal:

  • $2.7 billion to support small business balance sheets through assisting the unemployment insurance trust fund.
  • $898 million in legacy debt for state employee health insurance – money that previous administrations have punted from one budget to the next.
  • extra $300 million payment to our state’s pension funds, which will reduce liabilities by $1 billion between now and 2045.
  • More than $200 million to pay off College Illinois, the 1990s prepaid tuition program for Illinois families that has been on the verge of insolvency for years. This one-time payment will save taxpayers $75 million in unnecessary costs over the remaining life of the program.

According to the governor’s office, SB2803 is showing working families the benefits of federal recovery fund dollars through responsible fiscal management, the Back to Business support program, workforce development, rental relief, childcare support, rebuilding Main Streets, public health projects including vaccination clinics, jumpstarting capital projects and infrastructure jobs, rejuvenating the tourism industry and investing in violence prevention.

“We are continuing our responsible use of federal dollars by providing $2.7 billion in tax relief to businesses and benefit protections for workers,” said Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). “At the same time, our investments in college savings, health insurance and the retirement security of teachers, prison guards, state troopers and university workers will again demonstrate strength through stability for the hard-working people of our great state.”

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