Accomplishments include historic investments in education from cradle to career, economic development, and efforts to fight poverty.

CHICAGO – Throughout 2023, Governor JB Pritzker’s administration delivered historic and transformative investments in early childhood education and care, K-12 schools, higher education, workforce and economic development, and efforts to fight violence and poverty.

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“Since day one of my administration, my priority has been making Illinois the best state in the nation for families,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “That includes transformative education investments that will support Illinoisans from cradle to career, along with greater economic opportunities rooted in equity that give every individual the tools to succeed. My administration’s executive and legislative accomplishments this year build on four years of fiscally responsible leadership that have resulted in nine credit upgrades and a bright future for our state.”

2023 Executive and Legislative Accomplishments

Fiscal Responsibility

  • Passed five balanced budgets that led to nine total credit upgrades since Governor Pritzker took office. This budget prioritized generational investments in early childhood education and childcare, the teacher pipeline, higher education, and efforts to fight poverty.

Economic Growth

  • Named #1 state for workforce development in the Midwest and #2 in the nation for corporate investments by Site Selection Magazine.
  • Secured the largest EV battery production investment in Illinois to date — and the most significant manufacturing investment in Illinois in decades — through Gotion’s new Gigafactory that will create 2,600 jobs and invest $2 billion.
  • Reached nearly $5 billion in private-sector company investments and created nearly 4,200 jobs through Illinois’ signature economic development programs, REV Illinois and EGDE — nearly tripling private sector investments though these programs in 2022. Secured commitments to re-open the shuttered Stellantis plant and expand it.
  • Distributed $156 million In Back to Business Grants (B2B) to restaurants, hotels, and arts in over 500 cities, towns and localities in 95 counties across the state.
  • Announced a $1.35 million grant in partnership with the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) and Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT) to support tradeswomen-led efforts to train and support the entry of more women into infrastructure and construction careers.
  • Increased the number of minority-owned cannabis dispensaries, with 66 dispensaries opened to date.

Education

Early childhood

  • Strengthened Illinois' early childhood education and care field with historic investments to ensure families raising our youngest Illinoisans have access to quality home-visiting, early intervention, childcare, and preschool before reaching kindergarten.
  • Launched $250 million a year Smart Start Illinois Initiative to invest in early childhood education and care services and includes:
  • An additional $75 million for the Early Childhood Block Grant to put Illinois on a path to creating more than 20,000 new Pre-K spots for every child who wants one.
  • 5,000+ preschool spots created this year and committed to creating 20,000 over four years.
  • $130 million for nation-leading Childcare Workforce Compensation Contracts that will stabilize providers and give childcare workers a raise.
  • An additional $40 million for Early Intervention programs to enhance services for families and give providers a raise.
  • $5 million to expand the Illinois Department of Human Services' Home Visiting Program so more families who want it can receive this early support.
  • Continued to support and grow the EC workforce through the EC-ACE program.
  • Proposed a new unified state agency to house all early childhood programs and funding while providing a more equitable, integrated, and holistic system of services for young children and families.
  • Allocated $1.6 million to launch the Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Illinois to provide free books to children under age five.

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K-12

  • Added $350 million to the evidence based funding odel, bringing the total increase in annual base funding during the Pritzker administration to $1.443 billion.
  • Added $3 million for computer science education investments to expand grants to school districts and professional development opportunities for teachers while promoting equitable access to coursework.
  • Created the Teacher Vacancy Pilot Grant to direct $45 million per year for three years to the 20% of school districts with the highest rates of chronically unfilled teaching positions.

College

  • Bucked the national trend of enrollment declines at the community college level with a 5% increase in enrollment since last year.
  • Increased Freshmen enrollment at Illinois public universities increased by 1.5% compared to the fall semester of the 2021-22 academic year. Nationally, enrollment decreased 6.1% at public universities.
  • Invested $2.53 billion in higher education — the largest in 20 years — and provided historic funding increases for public universities and the community college system, including:
    • A $100 million increase for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), totaling a 75% increase since taking office.
    • An $80.5 million increase for public universities.
    • A $19.5 million increase for community colleges — the highest increase in two decades.
  • Reached historic levels of scholarship and grant funding — $750 million combining MAP and AIM HIGH — and codified AIM HIGH beyond the pilot period.
  • Provided scholarships to 12,890 students attending Illinois’ public universities through the AIM HIGH program.
  • Added $3.8M to the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship program.
  • Allocated $3.15M to expand access to dual credit.

Healthcare

  • Signed reproductive rights protections into law that protect health care providers from legal action, expand guaranteed insurance coverage, and increase reproductive health access.
  • Authorized a State-Based Marketplace for health insurance to protect consumers from unfair rate hikes and future changes in federal policy that undermine access to affordable healthcare.
  • Submitted a record 50 State Plan Amendments to expand the use of Medicaid funds.
  • Improved access to coordinated care by funding 15 Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives across the state — cross-provider partnerships working in coordinated fashion to care for people’s physical, mental, and social needs to transform health outcomes and reduce racial inequities.
  • Led the nation in protecting care during Medicare redetermination.
  • Announced a three-year transformation initiative to reshape the way the Illinois Department of Human Service (DHS) approaches care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Prepared schools to combat respiratory viruses through a $30 million program to distribute more than 60,000 HEPA air purifiers to schools, with an additional $10 million to cover Head Start programs and day care centers.
  • Increased bed count for youth with highly specialized needs.
  • Expanded access to legal representation for consumers of mental health services.

Supporting Vulnerable Communities

  • Launched the Home Illinois Anti-Homelessness Initiative in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) and committed more than $350 million to fund the comprehensive plan. Home Illinois expands affordable housing options, targeting individuals in high-risk situations (including homeless college students and those leaving medical care), and providing comprehensive support for individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • Supported the first group of incarcerated students to earn a bachelor’s degree from a top 10 university through an educational partnership with the Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP).
  • Established the Illinois Grocery Initiative that invests $20 million in food deserts across the state to open or expanding grocery stores in underserved rural towns and urban neighborhoods.
  • Increased protections for Native and Indigenous Illinoisans through the Human Remains Protections Act that streamlines and concentrates efforts to return known or newly discovered Native American remains and cultural artifacts to their nation of origin.
  • Supported over 10,000 new arrivals and provided food, shelter, health care, and legal support.
  • Created and preserved 4,700 units of affordable rental housing with record funding.
  • Created 416 permanent supportive housing units — a 30% increase from 2022. These units serve those most struggling to pay rent, those earning less than 30% of area median income.
  • Launched the Family Together Project which seeks to reduce the length of foster care home stays.
  • Enhanced the Emergency Foster Care (EFC) Process to increase support and resources for youth in crisis and increased available foster homes slots and shelter capacity.
  • Codified protections for Illinoisans who face housing discrimination because of their immigration status and expanded the Illinois Human Rights Act to ensure people renting an apartment, buying a home, applying for a mortgage, or receiving housing-related services receive equal treatment regardless of their source of income.
  • Expanded options for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by implementing Supported Decision-Making, reaching approximately 600 individuals.

Uplifting Veterans

  • Constructed and renovated veterans’ homes with over $400 million in state and federal funding.
  • Expanded veteran suicide prevention initiatives, including the reestablished Illinois Warrior Assistance Program (IWAP) which provides a warm hand off for veterans and their families who need assistance before a crisis begins.
  • Provided access to veteran education programs in coordination with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Restoring Public Safety

  • Signed the Firearm Industry Responsibility Act (FIRA) into law to hold accountable predatory gun manufacturers who knowingly caused harm through unsafe marketing practices.
  • Awarded nearly $150 million through the Reimagine Public Safety Act (RPSA) to grantees in Chicago and downstate to address firearm violence.
  • Using a web-based portal launched by ISP earlier this year, law enforcement agencies and schools are able to easily submit Clear and Present Danger reports, allowing ISP to review the submissions more quickly.

Clean Energy and Sustainability

  • Increased EVs on the road by 44% and awarded $12.6 million to fund nearly 350 charging ports across Illinois.
  • Partnered with numerous manufacturers including, Manner Polymers, TCCI, and Gotion, to ensure career pathways in EV manufacturing.
  • Launched $10 million in funding for the Climate Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program and $6 million for the Energy Transition Barrier Reduction Program as part of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) to increase training opportunities in the trades, expand the clean energy talent pipeline, and boost diversity in the clean energy trade industries by providing resources to limit barriers to participation.
  • Signed legislation establishing a tax credit for clean hydrogen users to ensure Illinois remains competitive in the clean hydrogen economy and meets CEJA goals.

Tourism

  • Attained the title of ‘Best City’ title for the seventh year in a row for Chicago.
  • Launched $15.4 million in tourism funding through the Tourism Attractions Grant Program and the Tourism Private Sector Grant Program.
  • Achieved record-breaking hotel revenues in FY23 with $308 million, bringing an increase in visitor spending, tax revenue, and local jobs.

Infrastructure and Technology

  • Announced the largest multi-year program to fix and repair infrastructure in Illinois’ history: nearly $41 billion over six years.
  • Ranked #2 in the nation for infrastructure.
  • Invested over $33 billion into the state's aging transportation system through Rebuild Illinois, creating jobs and promoting economic growth. As of September 2023, Rebuild Illinois had made $9.6 billion in improvements statewide on 5,522 miles, 553 bridges and 814 additional safety improvements.
  • Supported the opening of Fermilab’s new Superconducting Quantum Materials and Systems Center (SQMSC) that will further advance Illinois’ standing as a global quantum leader.
  • Completed work on the first year of the three-year, $150 million Kennedy Expressway (Interstate 90/94) rehabilitation project, with construction taking place in the inbound lanes.
  • Ushered in high-speed rail between Chicago and St. Louis with the completion of track upgrades that ultimately increased speeds from 79 mph to 110 mph. Louis. The $1.6 billion project was made possible by $1.3 billion in federal funds and approximately $300 million from a mix of state and non-federal sources.
  • Investing $275 million to restore passenger rail service between Rockford and Chicago, which has stations planned for Rockford, Belvidere, Huntley, and Elgin.
  • Provided nearly $114 million through Rebuild Illinois to build bus shelters, stations and maintenance facilities that will expand and improve service in downstate Illinois. A total of 32 transit systems will receive funding to advance 44 projects.
  • Awarded nearly $130 million for 72 statewide projects that include biking and walking paths, trails, streetscape beautification and other improvements designed to encourage safe travel across the various modes of transportation at the local level through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program.
  • Awarded $197.5 million through the Illinois Competitive Freight Program to 22 projects that will improve the movement of freight throughout the state, creating jobs and economic opportunity while enhancing safety and local quality of life.
  • Won top Midwest honors in the America’s Transportation Awards for the reconstruction and modernization of Chicago’s Jane Byrne Interchange. The Byrne was also named a top finalist for national project of the year — the fourth time in six years that an Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) project has been selected.

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