As you are aware, the state of Illinois’ financial condition, which was precarious to begin with, has been even further distressed due to the declining tax revenues resulting from the pandemic. Congress has failed to act on a federal financial relief package to states and it is unclear as to if/when this will occur. Further, the failure of the passage of the “Fair Tax” has blown an even deeper hole in the state budget. During Governor Pritzker’s daily COVID press briefing on Wednesday (11/4), following the failure of the Fair Tax, he stated that “there will be cuts and they will be painful”.
Thus, it is critical that we, as local health departments fighting on the front-lines of the pandemic, prepare to message strongly with our local legislators to protect local health protection grant funding. There are many different variables that will be considered by the Governor and General Assembly in the coming days, and our lobbying/advocacy teams are currently engaging key stakeholders in conversations on our behalf, but we should be prepared to act swiftly and loudly to protect our funding, if the need arises.
Please understand that the state budgetary situation is extremely fluid and we are watching closely, but want you to have as much up-to-date information as possible so that we can respond accordingly, together. If the need to communicate with our elected officials presents itself, we will supply you with messaging and further information so that we can have the greatest impact but we will need everyone working together.
Please let me know if you have any further questions and thank you for the strong work you are doing during these unprecedented times.
Special thanks also to our legislative liaison, Ben Lazare, for his work in keeping up to date on the latest happenings at the Capitol.