Pritzker advocates for migrants in State of the State address

During Wednesday's State of the State address, Governor JB Pritzker pressed his case that caring for asylum seekers is a moral imperative. However, some Republicans argue taxpayers shouldn't be asked to dig any deeper to support non-residents.

"I will not join the chorus of people in this country and in this chamber who eagerly look to slam shut an immigration door that was once open to our ancestors," Pritzker said.

Republican lawmakers were unmoved by an emotional plea from Pritzker, who, as part of his record $52.7 billion budget proposal, pledged to spend nearly $182 million on newly-arrived asylum seekers.

"I was very disappointed the Governor wanted to make a political speech and he wanted to invest a lot of money into people who are not citizens of our country and have taxpayers who are residents and citizens of our country pay for it," said State Sen. Steve McLure.

Pritzker again blamed Texas Governor Greg Abbott for politicizing the immigration issue, accusing him of busing more than 35,000 asylum seekers to Illinois over the past 18 months.

"Abbott willfully planned for the arrival of these individuals in locations and at times that would engender the maximum chaos for the city of Chicago," Pritzker said.


Pritzker unveils $800M in tax increases in State of the State

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his sixth State of the State and Budget address Wednesday, unveiling $800 million in tax increases.

Pritzker's call to end Illinois' statewide one percent grocery tax was well received across the aisle but doesn't go far enough for some Republicans.

"I didn't hear one mention of property tax relief, which is a huge burden to Illinois families. I didn't hear one mention about helping families afford gasoline, (or) the sales tax on gasoline," said State Sen. Jill Tracy.

Pritzker plans to spend $50 million on the growing homeless crisis and another $350 million on education. He'll pay for it in part thanks to $800 million in revenue largely from new taxes on businesses.

"Since Governor Pritzker came into office, we've increased state spending by 30 percent. There's not a family in my district that's budget has gone up 30 percent since he took office," said State Sen. Jason Plummer.

The deadline to reach a deal on a spending plan is at the end of May. Pritzker's budget also addresses the state's nearly $5 billion pension deficit.