murphy floor2 052120SPRINGFIELD – As the state begins a staggered reopening process during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) was glad to see funding set aside for businesses affected by closures in this year’s state budget, signed into law today.

“Our small businesses not only create jobs and stimulate the local economy—they make our communities unique,” said Murphy. “It’s important that we support them as they reopen after weeks of pandemic-related closures and begin the tough recovery process.”

The state budget for the 2021 fiscal year sets aside more than $600 million in funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Specific funds have been allocated for daycare providers and businesses in underserved communities.

To help workers get back on their feet until businesses can reopen, the Department of Employment Security will receive nearly $60 million in additional funding to help address challenges with the unemployment system.

Murphy also highlighted features of the budget that aim to support middle class Illinoisans more broadly, like the preservation of funding for K-12 and higher education, as well as an $871.8 million increase in funding to human services agencies providing aid to seniors, children and families across the state.

“Illinois unemployment is at a record high, but I hope these funds will give business owners, workers and their families the support they need to recover from pandemic-related losses as our state begins to reopen,” said Murphy.

The budget is contained in Senate Bill 264. The governor signed it into law Wednesday, and it takes effect July 1.