SPRINGFIELD (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on Sunday changes to the state budget outlook that now account for the economic effects the coronavirus has had on Illinois.
Pritzker said the budget, which goes through February 2021, had been working to reduce debt but that the global pandemic has blasted a hole in that budget with massive economic disruption.
The governor said that in the last four days, ambitious legislation has been passed, investing in core priorities including 3.8 billion dollars toward hospitals.
“[These hospitals received funding> so that they can care for all Illinoisans, especially in under-resourced communities hit hardest by COVID-19,” Pritzker said.
Other priorities include increased unemployment eligibility and expanding workers compensation protections as well as $500 million to rental and mortgage assistance, help with utilities and homelessness prevention.
“We’re able to provide real, meaningful relief for those most impacted by the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued.
The new budget includes over $600 million in grants for small businesses and more than $900 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for COVID-19 testing programs and contact tracing over the next year,
The Governor also mentioned the long-awaited approval of a Chicago casino that will assist in funding the Chicago pension plan.