President Donald Trump Thursday approved Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s requested Illinois Disaster Declaration, opening up a flow of federal resources in the wake of the state’s costly response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The disaster status will allow federal funding to be available for crisis counseling for affected individuals across the state of Illinois, according to a release from the White House.
Federal funding will now also be available to state and eligible local governments, as well as certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures for all areas in Illinois impacted by COVID-19.
Pritzker said at his briefing Thursday another Illinois disaster declaration request is pending to “allow us to access FEMA’s individual assistance programs. This would give us resources like more unemployment benefits for those not currently eligible for state unemployment insurance” and enhanced benefits for those seeking “food, shelter, and emergency supplies.”
Earlier, Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin urged Trump to approve the governor’s request.
In a letter they sent to the president Tuesday, the Illinois senators cited Pritzker’s assertions that “this pandemic is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and local governments. The pandemic has required extreme response efforts from the State, and federal assistance will be necessary to ensure the well-being of Illinoisans. This disaster has placed an unprecedented economic burden on not only communities across the State, but families and individuals.”
Trump previously approved declarations for California, New York, Washington state, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Iowa and North Carolina.