koehler chair 052220PEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) offered the following statement in response to the governor’s approval of the state budget for the upcoming year:

“COVID-19 has presented our state with unprecedented challenges to which there are no easy solutions,” Koehler said. “When I returned to Springfield last month to pass a budget for the upcoming year, it was clear we needed to take swift, substantive action to preserve our local businesses and alleviate some of the hardship so many of our residents are facing at this moment.” 

The state’s budget for the upcoming year includes:

  • $400 million for local health departments;
  • $250 million in CARES Act funding for downstate local governments;
  • More than $200 million set aside to help businesses affected by COVID-19 in downstate communities;
  • Nearly $80 million for rent and mortgage assistance for people affected by COVID-19 in downstate communities;
  • Nearly $60 million in additional funding for the Department of Employment Security to help address the challenges with the unemployment system;
  • $10 million for mental health and substance abuse treatment related to COVID-19 in downstate communities.

 “While we have certainly been presented with an unfortunate situation, this is the sort of moment in which the legislature is supposed to step up and do what is right by those who we represent,” Koehler said. “This budget adequately uses the resources we have available to us at the state level to meet our immediate needs without sacrificing vital services.”