gillespie 052119ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) looks forward to the relief the budget will provide for residents struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic following the budget signing by the governor today.

“With the pandemic placing many people out of work, we have prioritized improving our unemployment system and funding economic assistance programs to get people through this crisis,” Gillespie said.

To help those who lost their income due to the pandemic, the budget allocates $396 million to the Illinois Housing Development Authority for rent and mortgage assistance grants. Lawmakers also approved an additional $60 million to address the challenges facing the state’s unemployment system. After months of backlog, the added funds will help the Department of Employment Security update its computer systems and hire more staff to process claims.

The budget also preserves services that are vital to protecting those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. In-home senior services, like the Community Care Program, received a nearly $28 million increase in funds. The Home Services Program, which helps people with disabilities live independently, was increased by more than $110 million.

Senate Bill 264 takes effect July 1.