Bi-partisan legislative agreements move Illinois forward during Illinois special

Date: 
05/24/2020
MMadigan

Speaker of the Illinois House, Michael Madigan

The special Saturday, May 23, session of the Illinois Legislature produced great strides forward according to Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan. Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot expresses her delight about a casino component that is part of the legislation passed. 

“In this special session, legislation passed that ensures essential services will continue uninterrupted, and provides resources for the many people whose lives have been affected by this pandemic. 

“That begins with making difficult decisions to pass a state budget that provides much-needed funds for testing, access to health care, rental assistance, unemployment benefits for those facing layoffs and furloughs, resources to help small business owners rebuild their life’s work, and job training for people whose careers have been disrupted. This budget package provides needed flexibility to keep services running during the crisis, while also increasing legislative oversight of state spending to aid in a strong, fair recovery. 

“Working across the aisle, we worked with business and labor groups to pass a package of protections for first responders, health care workers and other essential employees who have been exposed to the virus while on the job. 

“We provided immediate relief for property taxpayers by suspending late payments and tax sales, and took steps to ensure seniors, veterans and people living with disabilities will be able to keep their tax exemptions without having to reapply. 

“We worked to help students and teachers succeed – whether instruction occurs in the classroom or online. We also expanded Medicaid, increased access to tele-health and mental health resources, and secured additional support for hospitals battling the virus in rural and low-income communities.

“We recognize that many more important decisions for our state are yet ahead, and our work will continue to help the people of Illinois during these challenging times.”

LoriLightfoot

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Lightfoot looks at the possibility of a financially viable casino in Chicago and is clearly happy about the work just completed in Springfield on Saturday. 

This moment is decades in the making," she says. It represents a critical step toward shoring up our city’s pension obligations, as well as driving huge levels of infrastructure funding and fueling thousands of new jobs for all of Illinois. 

"We are grateful to many lawmakers in both chambers, especially Illinois House Representatives Bob Rita, Jay Hoffman and Kelly Cassidy and State Senators Bill Cunningham and Kim Lightford, in addition to the leadership in both houses - Speaker Madigan, President Harmon, Leaders Durkin and Brady in particular - who were instrumental in the passage of this important legislation.   

"Additional thanks are due to our partners in organized labor, particularly the Chicago Federation of Labor, and its President, Bob Reiter. Thank you to members of the Chicago City Council.  And thank you to our fellow mayors, the restaurant and hospitality industries, and of course to the Governor for his dogged and public support of the bill, and we look forward to him signing this bill into law in the near future."

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