Andrew Chesney


Andrew Chesney


With Three Days Remaining on Spring Calendar, Budget Remains in Flux

FY25 Budget is Elusive as Spring Session Winds Down

Lawmakers are in Springfield this week for what are supposed to be the final days of the spring legislative session. The largest item that remains in flux is the budget for Fiscal Year 2025.

As of this morning, we have not seen a budget, and the only news we have on a spending plan is what we are reading in the news and on local political blogs. On Wednesday morning, I issued the following statement to the media:

“For the last several years, Illinois Democrats have benefitted from the effects of hyper-inflation and federal COVID dollars that have poured into this state. Federal relief dollars have dried up, yet the Majority Party has shown no appetite for fiscal restraint. Governor Pritzker has increased spending by 30% since taking office, and now he is seeking $1 billion in new taxes to pay for a migrant and illegal immigrant crisis he created. The citizens of Illinois are already overtaxed, and rather than looking for ways to provide tax relief the Governor continues to view Illinois citizens as his piggy bank.

“As the budget comes together in the coming days, I am looking for a truly balanced spending plan that does not fund services for migrants and illegal immigrants, does not include new revenue, and provides sustainable tax relief with no gimmicks.”


Chesney to Launch “Community Connections” Tour in June

When session concludes, lawmakers will return to their home districts where they will tend to the needs of their local constituents until the Legislature reconvenes at the Capitol for the Fall Veto Session. During these months, I will spend time meeting with a variety of groups and individuals, visiting businesses and farms, and attending functions relative to my role as a Senator.

One area of outreach that is already taking shape is a series of “Community Connections” meetings that will take place across the 45th District. At these meetings, I will provide a short update on the spring legislative session and bills that were passed, and a key element of each event will be a Question-and-Answer session where people can ask questions about issues important to their family and to offer thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. I look forward to these interactive events.

The first three of these town hall meeting-style events will take place in the coming weeks, and are scheduled for June 18 in Genoa (DeKalb County), on June 24 in Rockton (Winnebago County), and on June 26 in Machesney Park (Winnebago County). All are scheduled from 5:30 PM until 7:00 PM.

In Genoa, the meeting will be co-hosted by Genoa Mayor Jonathon Brust, and in Rockton, the event co-hosts will be Rockton Mayor John Peterson, South Beloit Mayor Tom Fitzgerald, and Roscoe Village President Carol Gustafson. In Machesney Park, co-hosts will include Machesney Park Mayor Steve Johnson, Machesney Park Trustee Aaron Wilson, and Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury.

Additional Community Connections events are currently being planned for July and August in Savanna (Carroll County), Elizabeth (Jo Daviess County), Freeport (Stephenson County), and Oregon (Ogle County).

Please visit the “Events” tab on my website ( for additional information about these and other upcoming outreach events.


Illinois Pays Tribute to Fallen Firefighters in Annual Memorial Ceremony

State leaders gathered on May 14 to attend the 31st Annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Medal of Honor Ceremony.  Click here to view a short, moving tribute from the ceremony.

The service and ceremony were held at the Bank of Springfield Center, bringing together scores of firefighters from across Illinois to honor and remember their fallen brothers and sisters.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the toll on firefighters’ lives continues to rise, with 25 casualties recorded already this year in the United States.


Spring Planting Trails Behind Last Year Amidst Seed Inventory Concerns

Spring planting in Illinois is well under way but is currently trailing last year’s pace. However, farmers were able to make recent headway thanks to a spell of dry weather and average soil temperatures.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Illinois farmers have so far planted 42% of their corn acres and 39% of their soybean acres. That’s far behind where they were at the same time last year, when the Illinois corn crop was 81% planted and soybeans were at 74% planted.

In 2023, Illinois led the nation in soybean production, yielding nearly 649 million bushels and ranked second in corn production, producing more than 2.27 billion bushels of corn.

Farmers will continue to be on the roadways in the coming weeks, as they finish planting season. Drivers should be aware that most agriculture equipment will be travelling much more slowly than car traffic.


Senate Republicans Push Back Against Chicago Teachers’ Demands for $1 Billion in Extra Funding

Hundreds of members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union took a taxpayer-funded day off from their classrooms on May 15 so they could travel to the Capitol and demand $1 billion more in state funding for Chicago Public Schools.

Hypocrisy was on full display as the union’s members took a day away from the classroom, forcing the district to spend significant taxpayer dollars on substitute teachers, while also paying salaries of the Chicago teachers who traveled to Springfield. Senate Republicans held a press conference as they arrived to highlight the special funding Chicago schools already receive that is not made available to other schools in the state.

Under the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) model, school districts are divided into a four-tier system with Tier 1 school districts being those that have the greatest need for new state funding to adequately educate their students. Tier 1 school districts are located across the state, with several here in the 45th District. Chicago, a Tier 2 district, does not get to jump to the head of the line.

As mentioned, Chicago schools already receive a disproportionate share of the state’s education resources through special carve-outs and unique grants. For these teachers, where an overwhelming majority of their students are not performing at grade level in reading or math, to come to Springfield and demand even more special treatment, is simply outrageous.

The demands made by the Chicago Mayor and the Chicago Teacher’s Union members are tone-deaf to the fiscal realities Illinois faces in crafting the Fiscal Year 2025 budget. Senate Republicans will continue to stand up for taxpayers as well as for equal funding for schools throughout Illinois.

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