WASHINGTON — Local governments in Illinois — from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s state of Illinois to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s City Hall — will share $13.2 billion in federal aid under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-relief legislation, expected to be finalized Tuesday and sent to the White House for signing.
That’s in addition to $1,400 stimulus checks for those making under $75,000; extended and enhanced unemployment benefits and billions to help schools in Illinois reopen.
“I think it may be the most significant assistance given to our state, and the states in general, in my political lifetime,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told reporters at a Zoom Sunday press conference.
With only Democratic votes, the Senate approved the giant measure this weekend, with a final House vote set for Tuesday. The measure is expected to pass the House on a Democratic roll call, even with the Senate stripping out the previously approved House-passed $15-an-hour minimum wage provision.
The cash-starved Pritzker and Lightfoot have been saying for months massive federal assistance is crucial to maintain jobs and services and avoid drastic cuts.
In addition to the emergency safety net funds provided to individuals, the rescue package, if approved by the House and signed by Biden, sends to Illinois:
* $7.5 billion for the state of Illinois.
* $1.8 billion for the city of Chicago.
* $5.5 billion for other governments, including $2.4 billion for Illinois counties; $2.4 billion for larger cities; and $681 million for smaller municipalities.
* About $275 million in vaccine distribution money for Illinois.
* About $1.5 billion in testing and public health money for Illinois health departments plus hundreds of millions for health related services, from hospitals to community health centers.
* About $1.5 billion in funding to help pay for essential workers through 2023 at the CTA, Metra and Pace.
* About $388 million for Illinois airports.