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Illinois legislators return to capitol Tuesday

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(The Center Square) – Illinois legislators return to the state capitol Tuesday to continue spring session.

Top of mind is the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Illinois taxpayers will hear more about how Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to spend their tax dollars during his budget and State of the State address Wednesday, Feb. 21. He’s indicated there will be a lot of priorities legislators will have to balance.

“It’s all a question of priorities, I think the members of the General Assembly and I talk about this all the time, across the aisle too, about what are our priorities, where are we going to put resources,” Pritzker said.

One measure impacting taxpayers would decrease the estate tax burden for family farms valued between certain amounts. State Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, has bipartisan support for his bill.

“And for our colleagues in Chicago, we’ve got to educate them,” Koehler said. “In the suburbs, we’ve got to let them understand how important this is for the whole state of Illinois. This, again, is our number one industry. We have to protect it.”

Other issues include how to deal with the ongoing costs of the migrant issue. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has indicated there are also talks about addressing how buses of migrants can be dealt with around the state.

“Seems like if one town can do it and another town can’t, we ought to have some kind of uniformity,” Pritzker said.

Illinois Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Jim Kaitschuk said they’ll be looking for how to handle continued concerns with the end of cash bail.

“To make sure that more of an opportunity to hold people exists than does today and I don’t think we have that level of freedom for judges to be able to make that determination,” Kaitschuk said.

With various breaks scheduled, session is expected to adjourn May 24. Contingency days are scheduled through May 31.

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