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Illinois Lawmakers Finalize $53.1B Budget, Carve Out $500M For Quantum Computing Hub


Lawmakers in the Illinois House gave final approval to a $53.1B state budget in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, earmarking $3.5B for infrastructure improvements — including $500M to support the development of a regional quantum information science and technology campus aimed at luring high-tech firms to the state.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at a press conference.

The House approved the budget in a 65-45 vote taken at about 2 a.m., and it will now head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk for his approval, The Chicago Tribune reported. The budget includes a sizable sum for infrastructure spending, about $500M more than Pritzker proposed in his February budget, Crain's Chicago Business reported.

The half a billion dollars set aside for quantum technologies as part of the infrastructure package includes $200M allocated for a cryogenic facility, which is needed to keep quantum computing systems cool, Pritzker told Axios in February. An additional $100M will go toward the development of a quantum campus site, and the remaining $200M will be in matching funds, Pritzker told the outlet.

“We already were establishing ourselves as a leading hub for quantum development — now we have the opportunity to take it a big step further,” Pritzker told Axios. 

The investment is aimed at establishing a quantum ecosystem in the state that will attract highly skilled workers and tech firms. The investment also serves to boost Illinois' chances of landing the headquarters of the National Semiconductor Technology Center, a research and development accelerator the Biden administration is creating as part of the $280B CHIPS Act, Axios reported. 

The House passed another bill that allows the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to designate “quantum campuses” and also details infrastructure and business incentives to entice developers of new-age higher-speed computing technology to come to Illinois, Crain's reports. 

Additionally, on the infrastructure side, Illinois municipalities will get another $400M from the state for local road projects. The funding is an olive branch the state extended to lessen the impact of eliminating the statewide 1% grocery tax, the outlet reports.