SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Last week, Governor J.B. Pritzker delivered his budget address for fiscal year 2022.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Pritzker delivered a virtual speech and provided a recap of how state and federal funds were distributed across Illinois. He followed with his proposal of how funds should be allocated in the upcoming fiscal year. 

Illinois Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Todd Maisch applauded parts of Governor Pritzker’s plan, but was quick to point out the problems he found within the proposal. 

Maisch argued that tax increases on local businesses would be problematic.

“There is a lot in the budget address that the governor gave that is positive for fiscal stability moving forward,” Maisch said. “Our biggest problem by far is nearly a billion dollars in tax increases on job creators in the state of Illinois at a time we are still trying to get out of a COVID recession.” 

Governor Pritzker, aware of the economic impact the pandemic has caused, referred to it as the “most challenging budget” that the government has had to craft. In order to balance the state’s budget without raising income taxes, Pritzker announced he would close $932 million in tax breaks on businesses.

However, Maisch argued businesses face an uncertain future and don’t know how long the pandemic will last. He called on Pritzker and the legislature to create a clear plan that will help sustain the economy and keep people safe.

“We have to go ahead and get back to allowing these businesses to be successful over the long term,” Maisch said.

“The issue is that the government can take your money away, but they can’t create business for you, especially when we’re dealing with the COVID situation.”

Top budget negotiators plan to hold committee hearings throughout the spring to debate the Governor’s budget proposals. The deadline to pass a budget is May 31st, 2021.