End of Session Newsletter

Dear Neighbors,

After a long, hard-fought session, we have a great deal to celebrate. We have made significant progress in improving Illinois’s finances with a balanced budget that pays down obligations early to save money and preserves and/or expands key priorities, including public safety and education.

We passed important environmental protections, banned dangerous “ghost guns,” and created a drug take-back program to keep prescription drugs out of our waterways and out of the hands of teens.

Many of the bills we passed this year were brought to us by constituents just like you. As we continue to move Illinois forward, your input and perspective is crucial to our state’s success. Please reach out to me with any thoughts, questions, or concerns.


Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz


Budget Update

This year’s budget continues our work in Springfield to reverse the damage caused by decades of financial mismanagement. My colleagues and I have worked to pay down debt, while adding long overdue funds to the state’s rainy day fund, allocating $2.4 billion in public safety funding, an increase of $486 million from FY22, and giving working families $1.8 billion in tax relief.

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Fully funded the state’s pension obligations with an additional $500M into our pensions in FY22/FY23, saving taxpayers nearly $2B
  • Added $1B to our state’s rainy day fund
  • Reduced $4B in debt liability, including:
  • All covid-related borrowing by the State
  • $900M in delayed health insurance bills, freeing up more than a quarter billion in taxpayer dollars every year
  • Eliminated bill backlog preventing wasteful spending on defaulted State payments
  • Last year, Illinois received its first credit rating upgrade in 20 years. This budget achieves our state’s strongest fiscal position in generations making responsible budgeting the rule, not the exception. While we have work to do, we are making progress in Illinois.

Investments in Our Communities
  • Furthering our commitment to a comprehensive, proactive approach towards crime, we put into $486M in additional public safety funding to tackle the root causes of violence as well as provide law enforcement with the tools and training necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively, including $124M to local police departments to support police and reduce violent crime and $70M towards domestic violence prevention services.
  • $350M increase for evidence-based education funding. A high-quality, public education for every child is key to providing the next generation with the opportunities they need to succeed and uplift their communities.
  • $68M – a 5% increase – to universities and community colleges to create new higher education opportunities for Illinois’ next class of high school graduates and keep our best and brightest right here in Illinois.

Tax Relief for Illinois Families
  • Includes the Governor’s $1B Illinois Family Relief Plan that:
  • Suspends the grocery tax for a year
  • Freezes the gas tax for 6 months
  • Doubles the property tax rebate
  • Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit in Illinois by adding 2% to the federal level. It will now cover people ages 18-25 and 65+.
  • Provides essential assistance to working parents with one-time direct cash assistance for each of their children.

Legislative Update

This legislative session, we passed substantive legislation to protect our environment, provide greater access to quality, affordable health care, and keep our communities safe.

The Drug Take-Back Act (HB1780):
  • Too often, old or unused pill bottles sit in medicine cabinets where they are a risk to kids or teens. However, throwing them in the garbage or flushing them down the toilet can cause serious harm to groundwater and local wildlife. HB1780 will provide Illinoisans with an easy, safe, and convenient way to dispose of unused prescription medications by establishing a statewide prescription drug take back program. This program will be operated and funded by pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Immigrant Right to Counsel Task Force (SB3144):
  • Establishes a task force to provide recommendations to the State on how to provide legal representation to all Illinoisans facing removal proceedings, continuing our efforts to create a fairer, more just immigration system.

Healthcare Power of Attorney Electronic Form (HB5047):
  • Modernizes the rules for displaying a Healthcare Power of Attorney to ensure that a loved one’s wishes are observed in an emergency.
  • Allows an individual to show an electronically stored Power of Attorney form to first responders and medical professionals.

Insurance coverage for genetic testing for ovarian and breast cancer (HB5534):
  • Requires individual, group accident, and health insurance policies to cover the cost of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer.

Environmental Assessment in Permitting (HB4093):
  • All people, regardless of race, color, socioeconomic status or background, deserve to live in a clean and healthy environment and be protected from environmental pollution. Unfortunately, the burden of pollution too often falls disproportionately on minority and low-income communities.
  • Creates new requirements for issuing permits to own and operate a source of pollution and requires the IEPA to consider environmental justice communities during the environmental permitting process.

Banning Production and Distribution of Ghost Guns (HB4383):
  • Ghost guns are weapons manufactured without serial numbers that are easier to hide and easier to obtain.
  • Law enforcement across Illinois have seen a 400% increase of these types of firearms over the past five years. HB4383 will require all firearms to be serialized so that law enforcement can track them in the event they are used in a crime.

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