This Week in the 104th District: Session Edition

This week, I attended my first State of the State and Budget Address given by Gov. Pritzker. Next week, I am in the district. 


Session reconvened on Tuesday at noon. A short session, with committees scheduled for before and after. One of my committees, Energy and Environment, was scheduled for a hearing at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, but was canceled within an hour of the start time. 

On Wednesday, the House called a brief session at 11:30 a.m. to prepare for the joint session between the House and Senate for the Governor’s State of the State and Budget Address. 

Thursday rounded out Session for the week with a noon start time. All committees scheduled were canceled. 

The House is scheduled back on Tuesday, March 5th. To watch the House Floor live, visit the Illinois General Assembly website, and click “Audio/Video”, which is nested under “House”. The schedule for Session is also available under “Schedules”, nested under “House”.

HB 1634

House Bill 1634, a bill proposed to require the Illinois EPA to implement the same vehicle emission standards as the state of California. This is not California and as the state of Illinois, we are NOT surrendering our state sovereignty to unelected California bureaucrats when there are elected lawmakers here in the state who should be making the laws. 

I staunchly oppose this legislation. My office has received an overwhelmingly negative response to this legislation, so please know, I will be voting NO. This bill was assigned to the Energy and Environment Committee, which I am on. 

If you feel inclined to do so, you may visit ILGA, go to “Submit testimony for House Committees”, nested under House, and click on Energy and Environment to submit testimony in opposition of HB 1634. 

To follow along with HB 1634, use ILGA and on the side bar on the left hand side, type in HB 1634 to monitor where the bill is. 


 Governor JB Pritzker delivered his State of the State and Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly this week. This annual address serves as the proposed framework for Illinois lawmakers, when crafting the budget. 

Governor Pritzker introduced the largest budget proposal in state history. The Governor’s FY25 proposed budget would spend $52.7 billion, which is a $2.3 billion increase over the FY24 enacted budget – a 4.5% increase.

The Governor’s budget plan includes $1 billion in additional revenue, raising taxes on Illinois families, while providing minimal tax relief. Utility costs, business start-up costs, property taxes, and pension debt were not mentioned in the address. The budget must pass the legislature before Session adjourns in May. 

During the State of the State Address, Rep. La Ha and I were two Representatives that ushered Gov. Pritzker in and out of the joint session on Wednesday. 


Following the State of the State Address, I released a press release and video about the Governor’s proposed budget. 

Although I am new to Springfield, I am skeptical of the Governor’s priorities, but I am hopeful that my colleagues will see that there is a lot happening in Illinois that warrant portions of the budget. I am a team player and want to see how the budget planning goes, but I am uncertain if both sides of the House will agree to cut unnecessary spending. 


The average price of gasohol, the highest-volume motor fuel in Illinois, has jumped 26.4 cents per gallon over the past month. Market watchers pointed towards the annual transition from ‘wintertime blends’ to the more expensive motor fuel mixtures that are required to be sold in Illinois’ two largest consolidated metro areas, Chicago and St. Louis, during the warmer months. 

The specialty summer fuels are described as effective in reducing the buildup of ozone, an air pollutant, in northern and southwestern Illinois. Both metro areas, Chicago and St. Louis, are in long-term noncompliance with federal environmental guidelines for ozone. Motor fuel is a necessity for the budgets of most Illinois families, and rising prices for this essential commodity are likely to force cutbacks in almost every other household spending category. 

Illinois and its local governments also lay significant tax supplements on the cost of motor fuel.  The ‘gas tax’ and associated sales taxes and levies pay for highway and bridge construction and maintenance, for the operations of mass transit systems, and for the operating costs of State and local government.  


Gov. Pritzker’s FY25 budget proposal called for close to $1 billion in new taxes on residents and businesses in the state, including continuing the inflation-ignoring cap that has “decoupled” the income tax standard deduction, utilized by almost all Illinois taxpayers, from inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index. If enacted into law this decoupling will, in FY25, take an estimated $93 million from the pockets of hardworking Illinois families. 

The Governor also proposed changes to the how much net operating losses businesses will be able to deduct on their taxes in tax year 2025. This change is expected to increase the tax liability of Illinois businesses by $526 million in FY25. Additionally, the proposed budget includes a $200 million tax increase to be imposed on earnings from sports wagering. This would be imposed by raising the tax rate on sports wagering from 15% to 35%. The Governor’s proposed tax increases, if enacted, will be imposed on top of continuing increases in local property tax bills. Illinois is already ranked 9th overall as one of the 10-worst states in the nation with regards to overall tax burdens.   



While away at Session, my office staff was able to congratulate the cast of “That’s What She Said”, a live show where women share stories to empower other women. The show is taking place on Saturday, February 24th at Virginia Theater in Champaign. Tickets are available on their website. 

Thank you to my office coordinator for going in my place and good luck to the cast of “That’s What She Said”!