March 26, 2020

Durbin, Duckworth release Illinois particulars on Senate-passed coronavirus relief bill; state and local governments to split nearly $5 billion

Source: Chicago Tribune


The $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed by the Senate includes $4.9 billion in direct assistance to Illinois’ state and local governments, Democratic U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth said Thursday.

The measure, which awaits final House action, would give Illinois state government $2.7 billion, while providing $2.2 billion to local governments, according to estimates from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In addition, the Illinois senators said state health care providers and hospitals are projected to get “billions of dollars” from a national pool of $100 billion for dealing with the coronavirus.

The grant funding is available for nonreimbursable COVID-19 expenditures and lost revenues, such as canceled procedures, and includes both future costs and costs already incurred. The bill also provides for increased Medicare payments to hospitals and expands telehealth services.

Of the $4.3 billion allocated nationally for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $1.5 billion is devoted to state and local health departments. Durbin and Duckworth said the funding, which includes test kit supplies, would provide an estimated $16 million for the Illinois Department of Public Health and an additional $9 million for the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The state will also get a share of $10 billion in increased Airport Improvement Program grants to help airports in the state continue to operate and pay for additional costs related to the coronavirus response.

Of $25 billion in federal transit formula funding to keep public transit operating, Illinois transit agencies will receive an estimated $1.6 billion in federal transit funding including $800 million for the CTA, over $400 million for Metra and more than $100 million for Pace.

The bill also includes $1.4 billion nationally to sustain up to 20,000 members of the National Guard under the direction of the governors of each state, including Illinois, for the next six months in order to support state and local response efforts.

The legislation also creates a national pool of $400 million for states to help prepare for the 2020 election cycle, including an estimated $13.9 million for Illinois. The money includes efforts to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting and online registration, and add voting facilities and more poll workers to increase the safety of voting in-person.

Additionally, Durbin and Duckworth said the measure includes $31.9 million in federal grant program funding for Illinois law enforcement to buy personal protective equipment and allow fire departments in the state to apply for assistance from a $100 million national fund to buy personal protective equipment.

By:  Rick Pearson