Family working from homeSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) traveled back to Springfield to help pass a budget that will support working families, small businesses, and immigrant communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This budget isn’t perfect, but we needed to pass a responsible plan that preserves key funding for essential services and provides relief for businesses to help them stay afloat until it is safe to reopen our state,” Villivalam said. “Additionally, there is no question we need further assistance from the federal government. The state of Illinois already sends more dollars to the federal government than it receives prior to the pandemic. We need them to step up.”

The new budget addresses key priorities including:

  • Providing more than $600 million in funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19
  • Preserves $12.6 billion in P-12 education funding
  • Providing an additional $400 million for local health departments
  • Providing $32 million in funding for immigrant welcoming centers to help recent immigrants get the COVID-19-related help they need
  • Providing IDES with nearly $60 million in additional funding to address challenges with the unemployment system

“This pandemic has shown us that we were not prepared to handle a crisis of this magnitude,” Villivalam said. “It is more important than ever to make sure we support struggling Illinoisans in any way we can, and this budget will at least provide some stability for the foreseeable future.”

Senate Bill 264 passed the Illinois Senate 37-19.