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murphy floor2 052120SPRINGFIELD – The bipartisan, bicameral Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission livestreamed Tuesday’s meeting to discuss relief programs administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“The RICC was initiated as a mechanism for the governor and his administration to inform the General Assembly of their actions in relation to COVID-19,” said State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), the Senate co-chair of the commission. “The commission has been engaging with state agencies since July to provide feedback on the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan, and we decided it’s time for the public to get the opportunity to view these discussions as well.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, Assistant DCEO Director Michael Negron gave an overview of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) and Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (Local CURE) programs, which provide pandemic relief aid to small businesses and local governments, respectively.

 

Negron reported nearly $141 million has been distributed to more than 5,500 Illinois small businesses via the BIG program. Additionally, over $92 million in Local CURE funding has been distributed to reimburse local governments for pandemic-related costs, with another $43.4 million currently under review.

 

Over the past five months, the commission has been joined by representatives from a variety of state agencies, including the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Members of the commission pose questions and offer suggestions to ensure these agencies are advancing the state’s recovery and addressing the needs of the people of Illinois.

Other stakeholders, including school superintendents from across the state, have testified before the commission to request changes to or clarifications on the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan. The chairs of the commission then bring these concerns to the governor’s office to make sure all perspectives are taken into account during the decision-making process.

The Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission is scheduled to meet next Tuesday, Dec. 8 at noon and will be joined by representatives from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, who will provide an overview of Local CURE fund spending. The livestream can be viewed when proceedings begin at https://ilga.gov/senateaudvid.asp.