Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his state of the state and budget address before the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune / pool)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday unveiled a $52.7 billion budget that he described as filled with “hard choices.” The plan builds on priorities like funding preschool, supporting Black residents, funding the neediest schools and caring for asylum seekers.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is pictured in a July 2023 file photo. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

If Illinois continues spending next fiscal year as it has been this year, the state will face an $891 million deficit. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is set to spell out exactly how he plans to address that on Wednesday, when he delivers an annual combined state of the state and budget address. 

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Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Chicago Police Department say they’re moving into a “new age of policing” while rebuilding the department. They are also asking for more money, patience and time.

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Passing a budget is arguably the single must-happen task for lawmakers and it was supposed to have been done by Friday, but that self-imposed deadline came and went without any budget action.

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Illinois Democrats have the ranks to pass a new state budget, but an inability to agree on spending figures means they blew past Friday’s deadline and will return to the capitol next week in another attempt to get the job done.

Deonte Baker was recovering from a violent attack when he was selected for the Resilient Communities program. “I was able to rebuild my life and feel good about it,” he said. (WTTW News)

Last summer, the 5,000 Chicagoans selected to participate in the city’s guaranteed income pilot program began receiving $500 per month. The Resilient Communities program was designed to help income-qualified Chicagoans stabilize their financial circumstances.

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington, as Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., listen. (Jacquelyn Martin, Pool, File)

The deficit reduction goal is significantly higher than the $2 trillion that Biden had promised in his State of the Union address last month. It also is a sharp contrast with House Republicans, who have called for a path to a balanced budget but have yet to offer a blueprint.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his budget address on Feb. 15, 2023. (Governor's Office Video)

Speaking before a joint session of the General Assembly, Gov. J.B. Pritzker acknowledged that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has been years since he last gave the ceremonial presentation from the Illinois House.

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An additional 5,000 children will be able to go to preschool next year under a proposal Gov. J.B. Pritzker will introduce Wednesday when he pitches his 2024 fiscal year plan to legislators and the public.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks about the county’s cash assistance program on May 18, 2022. (WTTW News)

More than 233,000 Cook County residents applied to be part of the $42 million program, and 3,250 households won a lottery to participate in the two-year program.

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen formally put Congress on notice last week that the agency will have to start taking "extraordinary measures" after the US reaches its $31.4 trillion debt limit on Thursday.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks about the county’s cash assistance program on May 18, 2022. (WTTW News)

Approximately 62% of applicants have jobs, and nearly half have sought medical attention at a hospital’s emergency room in the past year, officials said. An initial lottery will identify 10,000 applicants to verify the information contained in their applications.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks about the county’s cash assistance program on May 18, 2022. (WTTW News)

The program, which is expected to include 3,250 households, will launch a test of a basic-income program with $41.5 million from the federal COVID-19 relief package signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks about the county’s cash assistance program on May 18, 2022. (WTTW News)

Those who are selected for the program, which will prioritize residents of suburban Cook County, will get monthly payments of $500 to 3,250 residents for two years. The first checks are expected to be cut by the end of the year, officials said.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker presents an election-year budget filled with tax relief and more spending on programs.  And Rod Blagojevich weighs in on a congressional race. . Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

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Gov. J. B. Pritzker will present the new state budget Wednesday. Details will include Illinois' pandemic response, funding for schools, and for violence prevention, and potential tax relief. Among the expected proposals are holding the line on a gasoline tax, and temporarily lifting a 1% tax on food.