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Pritzker to announce additional $182 million in upcoming budget for migrants

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(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to announce $182 million of additional state taxpayer funds for the coming fiscal year to address the ongoing migrant crisis.

Since August 2022, Illinois has received more than 35,000 migrants from the southern U.S. border. Last week, Pritzker said he’s meeting with stakeholders from Chicago and Cook County on how to continue funding the state and local response.

Before the Illinois House adjourned last week, state Rep. Marty McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, urged more transparency.

“So that we can understand where the money is going to be spent, who is going to receive it, where the contracts are going and who is going to be benefiting from those contracts in addition to the services that we will be providing, whether it’s health care, school, public safety and the like,” McLaughlin said.

Without much more detail Thursday, Pritzker’s office announced the state and Cook County will spend more than $250 million of taxpayer funds in the coming fiscal year, the bulk, $182 million, coming from state taxpayers. Cook County taxpayers would cover about $70 million. The county has already committed $100 million for the crisis in the current fiscal year.

In total, the governor’s office said the officials estimated $321 million is needed for this calendar year on top of previous committed funds. Taxpayers already spent more than $500 million on the migrant crisis in 2023. Pritzker announced in November an additional $160 million.

In Thursday’s announcement of more money for the coming fiscal year, Pritzker said without action from the federal government, “it’s clear the state, county, and city will have to do more to keep people safe.”

Legislators return Tuesday. The governor’s budget address is Wednesday.