Apr 4, 2022 - Politics

Illinois Democrats propose statewide stimulus checks

Illustration of the Illinois State Capitol building with lines radiating from it.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Democrats in the Illinois Senate late Friday night proposed a staggering $1.8 billion in tax cuts late that would include stimulus checks for almost all residents.

Why it matters: As inflation rises, local governments are looking at ways to get money into the hands of taxpayers.

Yes, but: The Senate stimulus plan seemed to surprise the governor and Illinois House. The governor's office wasn't briefed on the bill, per Capitol Fax, while House Speaker Chris Welch got a phone call just 30 minutes before the press conference.

  • State Republicans now say this is nothing more than an election time stunt.

The intrigue: The proposed stimulus checks would be in mailboxes by September, two months before the general election.

  • Funding would largely come from the $8.1 billion federal pandemic relief package Illinois received last year, as well as a state tax revenue surplus.

💰 By the numbers: Most taxpayers would receive $100 per person and $50 per child in their households.

  • Property owners would get up to $300 in property tax relief checks.
  • Grocery taxes would be suspended six months alongside a suspension of gas tax increases.
  • The state would also freeze taxes on school supplies for 10 days in August.

What they're saying: "We're going to drive down skyrocketing gas and grocery costs and give people some needed relief," Senator Elgie Sims said in a press release.

The other side: "Illinoisans will see right through this disingenuous gimmick," GOP leader Dan McConchie said in a statement.

The big picture: State Democrats are following the lead of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who just announced $12.5 million in free gas and transportation cards for select Chicago residents.

What's next: The proposal will be taken up by the Senate early this week.

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