The 21st Show

Preview of Gov. Pritzker’s Budget Address


Governor J.B. Pritzker scheduled his annual State of the State and Budget address on Februrary 17, 2021. Since the Illinois House and Senate canceled their in-person session days for the rest of this month, he delivered his speech virtually this year.

A recent report from the General Assembly’s budget forecasting arm: “Overall, the economy declined -3.5% in 2020 — which was the worst year since demobilizing from World War II — and a full percentage point lower than the worst year during the Great Recession.” Employment in Illinois also experienced two records, just two months apart. In February 2020, unemployment hit an all-time low of 3.4 percent since the mid 70's. Two months later, unemployment was at an all-time high for Illinois — over 17 percent (17.2%). From an economic standpoint, it was the best of times and the worst of times. However, many of the highest earners in our society were able to work from home and keep making money — state tax collections did not suffer the way they have in past recessions.

To preview some of the issues that Gov. Pritzker will be discussing in his speech, The 21st was joined by a panel of guests. 


Sen. Dan McConchie, Illinois Senate Minority Leader, R-Hawthorn Woods

Amanda Kass, Associate Director for the Government Finance Research Center at University of Illinois at Chicago and an Affiliate for the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois

Hannah Meisel, Statehouse reporter for NPR Illinois


Prepared for web by Zainab Qureshi

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