Illinois Legislative Black Caucus

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus called a press conference Wednesday to offer their responses to Governor Pritzker’s annual budget address.

"The stability and progress that was mentioned by Governor Pritzker today has helped many communities, but we expect that help to trickle down to the Black community,” said State Representative Carol Ammons (D-Chicago), Illinois Legislative Black Caucus House chair. “Our goal is to not just put it into the budget, but to get it out to our communities. We look forward to redressing investments in the Black community, because as we invest in the Black community everyone knows that is an investment all other communities benefit from.”

Black Caucus members joined to address the parts of the governor’s budget proposal relating to the ILBC’s four-pillar legislative agenda aimed to rid Illinois of systemic racism. Members echoed a resounding responsibility to speak to the issues in the Black community that do not quite translate into the budget investments.

Black Caucus members called for investments to improve academic opportunities for low-income and minority students, investments in trades in communities of color to foster economic development, and increased investments in public safety and gun violence prevention in disadvantaged communities. Despite previous budget proposals including investments to counter-act inequities across a wide range of issues, data shows little improvement in these inequities.

“We saw a proposed budget that acknowledges a handful of issues that disproportionately affect Black communities, such as gun violence, maternal mortality rates, and economic access and equity,” said State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago), Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Senate chair. “The ILBC fought hard to enact four key pillars to reform Illinois and dismantle systemic racism across the state. I look forward to fighting alongside my colleagues to ensure adequate funding reaches the communities that need it most as we move forward with budget negotiations.”

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus also announced they will release a document entitled, "Leveling the Playing Field: Using the General Fund Budget to Invest in Building an Equitable State and Eliminating Structural Racism" with dollar figures listed alongside issues mentioned at the press conference.

Members of the caucus will now spend the coming weeks working to ensure these priority investments are represented in the final enacted FY25 budget.