On that record-breaking new state budget…

The 2024 Spring Session has officially come to an end.

After almost six months of committee hearings, meeting with constituents and stakeholders, rigorous debate, and hours of floor action, the Illinois Senate passed a total of 465 bills this session.

The Senate adjourned around 11:00 PM on Sunday, May 26th after voting on the Fiscal Year 2025 budget and additional spending proposals. This year, the budget was 3,389 pages long and as usual my colleagues and our staff were given almost no time to go through what is now the largest budget in the history of Illinois, topping off at $53.1 billion. Since Governor Pritzker took office in 2019, the state’s budget has increased by 32% or $13 billion in new spending in just five years!

Yesterday, on June 5th, Governor Pritzker officially signed the state budget into effect. I believe that this budget fails to prioritize the people of the 26th District and Illinois at large. This budget faced bipartisan opposition in both chambers because instead of investing in families, schools, and the developmentally disabled community, the Governor is punishing taxpayers with $1 billion in new taxes that will be going primarily towards the migrant crisis in Illinois that he helped create.

Next year’s budget will be extremely challenging. Transit agencies are heading toward a projected $730 million fiscal cliff that will require state intervention, all while the migrant crisis continues to balloon out of control. With federal COVID-19 money exhausted, Springfield Democrats are running out of new revenue sources and my fear is that they will pass that additional burden on to you, the taxpayer.  

The Fiscal Year 2025 budget represents a pattern of disregard for fiscal responsibility and continues Illinois down a dangerous path of reckless and unsustainable spending at taxpayer expense. That is why I voted NO.

I am looking forward to being back in the district this summer and hosting numerous events throughout our community! If I you have any questions or comments, please reach out here. As always, your voices and feedback guide my work to represent you.

Faithfully yours,

State Senator McConchie

Judge Blocks Controversial New Election Law

Just yesterday, on May 22, a Springfield judge ruled unconstitutional a controversial new election law that was rammed through the General Assembly by Democrat lawmakers earlier this month. He said it was unconstitutional because it “impermissibly burdens” candidates who has been following the previous law from “their right to vote and to have their names placed on the November ballot.” Critics say this new law is designed to protect vulnerable incumbents and reduce voter choice at the ballot box.

Senate Bill 2412, signed into law by Governor Pritzker on May 3, would have made significant changes to the rules for an election process that is already underway. Most notably, it would have ended the slating process currently taking place in districts throughout the state, eliminating challengers that entrenched incumbents could face in November.

Republican legislators opposed the legislation earlier this monthnoting that this proposal was a blatant power grab by Illinois Democrats looking to protect incumbents in the general election and would only further erode public trust in the electoral process.

I believe the ruling that this election law is unconstitutional is a step forward in ensuring that the citizens of Illinois have a voice at the ballot box this fall and the opportunity to choose who represents them in Springfield.  

Senate Passes Legislation to Reform Prisoner Review Board

Amid ongoing controversy with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board (PRB), including a recent high-profile tragedy where a young boy was murdered by an offender just the day after his release, the Senate overwhelmingly passed bipartisan legislation to reform the controversial body.

House Bill 681 includes a number of reforms to the PRB, incorporating ideas previously suggested by Senate Republicans, including major provisions by Senator McConchie: enhanced protections for victims by ensuring victims are notified when prisoners are up for release, allowing domestic violence victims to have a say in parole hearings, and allows victims to get an order of protection even when their abuser is incarcerated.

Additionally, the legislation establishes new qualification standards for board members, increases transparency and creates a task force to examine various issues related to the board. The proposal is currently still pending in the House, and bizarrely the Governor’s office has publicly said that they are opposed to this important bill. The PRB urgently needs reforms to improve public safety, prioritize and protect victims, and ensure that their voices are heard throughout the process.

List of Bills Sen. McConchie Passed in the 2024 Spring Session

  • SB 275: Provides the option to extend your license expiration date from 4 to 8 years so you do not have to go to the DMV so often.
  • SB 998: Removes the requirement to fill out the FASFA form to graduate high school for the current school year was in response to the federal government’s failed rollout of the new FAFSA form.  
  • SB 3323: Makes accessible EV chargers the standard in Illinois as it is currently not the law that such chargers be handicap accessible.  
  • SB 2751: If a disabled Veteran must make modifications to their home to accommodate their disability, this bill will prohibit permit fees from being assessed.  
  • SB 2740: Requires condominium buildings in Illinois to have available handicap parking spaces for residents with disabilities, which was in response to handicapped parking being sold to the highest bidder.  

Click here to see all bills from Senator Dan McConchie.

Your feedback matters!

As always, I look forward to hearing from you! If you have any feedback, concerns, or questions, I would love to hear from you. You can contact me here.

Dan McConchie

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