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US Senate’s stimulus plan includes $150 billion for state and local governments

Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020

* This summary of the US Senate’s stimulus proposal was prepared by Illinois’ DC office…

• Extended UI program increases the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week and ensures that laid-off workers, on average, will receive their full pay for four months instead of 3 months.
• $100 billion in a Marshall Plan for the Health Care System.
• $150 billion for state and local Coronavirus Relief fund.
• $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
• $17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans.
• $30 billion in emergency education funding and $25 billion in emergency transit funding.
• $30 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as private nonprofits providing critical and essential services.
• More than $10 billion for the Indian Health Services, and other tribal programs.
• Prohibits businesses controlled by the President, Vice President, Members of Congress, and heads of Executive Departments from receiving loans or investments from Treasury programs.
• Makes rent, mortgage and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.
• Bans stock buybacks for the term of the government assistance plus 1 year on any company receiving a government loan from the bill.
• Establishes robust worker protections attached to all federal loans for businesses.
• Creates real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions under the Act, including terms of loans, investments or other assistance to corporations.
• Creates a Treasury Department Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to provide oversight of Treasury loans and a Pandemic Response Accountability Committee to protect taxpayer dollars.
• Adds a retention tax credit for employers to encourage businesses to keep workers on payroll during the crisis.
• Provides income tax exclusion for individuals who are receiving student loan repayment assistance from their employer.
• No bailout for big oil.
• Eliminated “secret bailout” provision that would have allowed bailouts to corporations to be concealed for 6 months.
• Prohibits airlines from stock buybacks and CEO bonuses.

The Financial Times reported that the state and local money is a loan, but I’m told it’s actually a grant. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s letter to his members outlining the package is here. NPR also has a roundup here. The House has yet to sign off on the package.

* Illinois obviously needs the dough. From Hannah Meisel

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability on Tuesday released a three-year budget forecast for the state, which the office acknowledged was now largely moot due to the still-unraveling impacts of the Coronavirus on the state economy.

COGFA estimated that the impact of the virus, also known as Covid-19, on Illinois would be even more damaging than the Great Recession, and predicted Illinois would likely also drop into a recession — just as the outlook for the state’s economy was becoming stronger. Standard & Poor’s earlier this month already declared a global recession. […]

But on Tuesday, COGFA predicted Illinois would experience a “peak-trough decline” in revenues of 20 percent — a reduction of more than $8 billion, though COGFA estimated that drop-off would likely be experienced “over multiple fiscal years.” […]

“If governments’ revenue performance also deteriorates – a rising risk stemming from the economic fallout of the coronavirus – pension affordability ratios will worsen significantly for some because of the combination of cost hikes and revenue stagnation or decline,” according to Moody’s.

Moody’s also said that governments’ capacity to “smooth” pension costs — a tool often used during and after the Great Recession — is much more limited now than a decade ago, as “significantly deferring costs to make up for 2020 investment losses would carry potentially severe long-term pension funding consequences for some governments.”

* From that COGFA report

The accumulation of a bill backlog is a threat to the State of Illinois due to the high cost of either having to borrow from the financial community at higher rates or through incurring late-payment interest penalties. The backlog of bills had grown to a high of approximately $16.7 billion during the fall of 2017. As of March 12, 2020, the Comptroller reported a General Funds backlog of $7.6 billion, which is down from $8.8 billion from a similar time last year

The backlog is now at $8.07 billion.

* Meanwhile, from the New York Times

The crisis has brought state policymaking to a standstill regardless of partisan control. Any legislative proposal with a price tag appears endangered.

In Idaho, Republicans shelved plans for broad property tax relief, saying they lacked time with the virus looming. In Missouri, also held by Republicans, the clock could run out on efforts to pass a bill to create a statewide database for doctors and pharmacists to track opioid purchases, leaving at least one Missouri Republican wondering aloud about additional opioid overdose deaths that may not be prevented now.

In Connecticut, controlled by Democrats, a long, fierce battle to create a public health option for those who cannot afford private insurance appears likely to fail, after lawmakers adjourned until at least March 30.

In Minnesota, the only state in the nation where the legislature is split between the political parties, Democrats had an eye on paid family and medical leave; Republicans hoped to exempt social security income from state income tax. Now everyone is recalculating. […]

And in state after state, lawmakers say they suddenly have little money to address anything but the unfolding medical and economic crises. In some places, the annual budget-writing process, which depends on projected tax collections, has been sent into chaos.

* And here’s a letter signed by every member of the Senate Republican caucus

Governor Pritzker,

We want to commend you and your staff for your hard work during these difficult and unprecedented times. Like you, we agree that containing the COVID-19 virus and helping those in need is a top priority.

As Illinois residents continue to follow the best health practices recommended to help contain this virus, we believe it is important to give relief to those dealing with the economic repercussions facing our state. The Federal government recently moved to delay the Federal tax filing deadline, which we believe should be emulated in Illinois. This delay will help residents maintain the recommended social-distancing practices while also providing some liquidity to those who need it most.

Therefore, we are asking you to extend the state’s income tax filing deadline and couple it with the new Federal deadline of July 15. This simple act would make a big difference in the lives of residents throughout Illinois.

I totally forgot to tell subscribers this morning that the governor’s budget office informed some legislators yesterday that they think they can extend the income tax filing deadline if they have to, but they were hoping for a block grant from the federal government to ease the pain. So, stay tuned.

* Related…

* Illinois’ D.C. delegation unifies around call for federal government to pick up National Guard costs: In a letter spearheaded by Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos of Moline, the delegation asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper to issue more authorizations of National Guard under what’s known as Title 32, which provides for upfront federal funding for the Guard’s work. Guard units activated in New York, California and Washington have received the Title 32 funding designation.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

60 Comments »
  1. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:27 am:

    The House could be tough. The Freedom Caucus crowd is likely going to derails unanimous consent.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/24/congress-coronavirus-emergency-package-146066


  2. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:30 am:

    OK. The state bill backlog is $8B at the moment. Not stated is the normal backlog in good times runs $3B - $5B just because of normal payment delays.

    That said, with businesses needing all the liquidity they can get, it would be nice if the State can prevent the backlog from growing larger. But unlike the Feds, the State can’t print money … and paying for the health care measures will take precedence over other spending. Probably time for JB to dust off the austerity budget and put it in place now rather than later … and ask the agency directors to find another 10% in cuts or deferments.


  3. - 32nd warder - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:36 am:

    This summary looks like a far better stimulus bill that the one the Senate Majority Leader was trying to pass earlier this week. These safeguards against the President and others from getting funds from this package, as well as the increased focus on workers protections and support of states, are significant improvements. The partisan bickering can get loud in DC, but sometimes its inevitable if you’re trying to improve legislation. One person’s “stalling” is another persons “taking the time necessary to improve.”


  4. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:36 am:

    There never should be secret bailouts of corporations or anything else. No reason to hide bailouts for 6 months. You take the mine you take it in the open and admit it
    And I am dumb enough to think that was a nice letter by the Republicans to Pritzker


  5. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:37 am:

    It ought to be a grant rather than a loan for state and local governments. This is a dire time. We gave huge tax cuts during a long period of economic growth that greatly benefited those who need it least, so we can’t really complain about giving to governments. We really need the money and not to be on the hook for it.


  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:38 am:

    ===in good times runs $3B - $5B just because of normal payment delays===

    I think your range is a bit too high.


  7. - SSL - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    The House needs to come along. If the Dems need to split to make it happen they will. Too much riding on this.


  8. - Mr. K. - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:47 am:

    How much of this — in retrospect, of course– mpt now — is going to reflect back on Rauner’s poor budget planning?

    And even before Rauner — Quinn, Blago?

    I dunno. I just think Rauner’s focus on union-busting to the exclusion of — literally — everything else put us in a pretty precarious spot.

    Or not. Maybe it has nothing to do with Rauner’s deliberate ineptitude. Maybe it’s just, you know, one of those: ‘it is what it is’. Everyone is to blame.


  9. - SWIL_Voter - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    SSL, this bill is almost certainly going to get more Dem support by percentage in the House than R support, right?


  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:50 am:

    - Mr. K. -

    With respect, looking back is not facing the challenges we have ahead and what needs to be done now. It’s not helpful, with respect.

    To the post,

    I have ZERO problem with the SGOP deciding to send that letter, and if Illinois gets a block grant, that would really help in the governing and the bipartisan manner the governing can continue, including what this letter asks.

    The timing is good, we’ll see how this can play out to help Illinois and the residents too.


  11. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:55 am:

    thought I heard some provision for not for profits. anyone else hear that/


  12. - Kaynes - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:56 am:

    Maybe we shouldn’t have given a trillion dollar tax cut to the wealthy when the economy didn’t need it?


  13. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:58 am:

    Thank you president Trump.


  14. - City Zen - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:58 am:

    While the bill backlog is at $8 billion, the bill for the backlog is around $14 billion. Let’s not forget the $ 6 billion in general obligation bonds we still needs to pay.


  15. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 10:59 am:

    ==Thank you president Trump.==

    Oh please. Try thank you everyone in Washington. Can we please cut the “Dear Leader” crap.


  16. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:03 am:

    I’m glad to see that the funding for states will be in the form of a grant. It doesn’t help them if they have to pay it back.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:04 am:

    The cult-like fascination needs to stop

    This was a bipartisan plan, crafted by Sec. Mnuchin, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Schumer.

    That’s the ball game.

    I’m grateful for the country and especially to all effected, medically, economically, emotionally.


  18. - leonard - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    Question asking for a friend will older people on social security get any stimulus dollars


  19. - 17% Solution - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    == Thank you president Trump==
    A bit premature. He needs to sign it. Remember when Trump was all in to help the Dreamers, until he wasn’t?


  20. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:09 am:

    Thank you President Trump….presidents and governors own. In good times and in bad.


  21. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:09 am:

    ==This was a bipartisan plan==

    The best plans usually are.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:11 am:

    === presidents and governors own. In good times and in bad.===

    I’d stop about now.

    This is me helping. Just stop.

    === The best plans usually are.===

    Amen.


  23. - Jack Sprat - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:13 am:

    Thanks Uncle Don.


  24. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:14 am:

    Blue Dog:

    Just stop already. It’s embarassing.


  25. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:15 am:

    ….presidents and governors own… thought it was sort of funny myself.

    Folks, when this is over, we better start serious discussions on the viability of the airline industry being part of the private industry. Two massive bailouts in twenty years is not going to fly.


  26. - Pundent - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    =Thank you President Trump=

    I applaud your ability to only see and hear those things that you wholeheartedly agree with. But before you tire patting the President on the back, remember that he doesn’t take responsibility for any of this.


  27. - Arock - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    No you can not forget the past ineptness of how the State has been run the last few decades which is part of the reason the State does not have the necessary backup of medical equipment in preparation for disasters like these. And Illinois failure to have an adequate rainy day fund after this long period of a growing economy throughout the nation is on its leaders and the party that has controlled the State which would be the Democrats in Illinois State government and the City of Chicago. You can blame Rauner all you want but there was never any intent to ever negotiate with him on any items that would have potentially improved the State. If you fail to see that Madigan’s leadership of the Democratic Party in Illinois has been a financial failure for the State then you are part of the problem.


  28. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    Right now (with some hiccups) things in Washington are managing to get done on a bipartisan basis. Everyone is trying to work through these things together. That is what we should be recognizing. They all deserve some credit right now.


  29. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:21 am:

    ==which is part of the reason the State does not have the necessary backup of medical equipment in preparation for disasters like these==

    I don’t think any state had the necessary equipment to handle something like this, regardless of who they were run by. So don’t try to play your little partisan games with that.

    ==here was never any intent to ever negotiate with him on any items that would have potentially improved the State==

    Not on his union busting there wasn’t. He wasted his entire term on that instead of trying to find things the Democrats would agree to. He didn’t try.

    ==has been a financial failure for the State then you are part of the problem==

    Yeah, he’s had a hand in it. But it’s not only been his. You’re part of the problem if you think this mess is the fault of one person.

    Unfortunately some of you prefer to be nothing but hyper-partisans attempting to lay the blame at one person’s feet or another.


  30. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:21 am:

    The bailout bill is a good sign. The sun is out and I’m going for a walk soon. The terrible scorecard will keep going but we have to have hope that the downward trend is in sight.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:21 am:

    === You can blame Rauner all you want but there was never any intent to ever negotiate with him on any items that would have potentially improved the State.===

    Here is *exactly* why I’m even entertaining this utterly foolish ridiculousness in this crisis;

    Rauner never got or wanted 60 and 30.

    This package that is agreed to is a bipartisan effort that will not only pass, but will be signed.

    I’m not going to have at this time someone think Rauner is a hero because the feds were able to craft bipartisanship.

    It probably felt good to type all that drivel, but your blinded following of a past Governor isn’t helping what is at play here to help with a crisis.


  32. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    Very interesting to hear the CEO of 3m this morning. The Strategic Reserve had only 12 million N95 type respirators on stock. Estimated usage in a pandemic scenario is 3.5 billion. Looks like 3m is ramping up production in Nebraska and SD to manufacture 1 billion by years end. Apparently many administrations have not taken seriously the ‘what if’ scenarios.


  33. - Nick - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    Bad news Rich

    It’s possible that the $150B for State and Local governments might be only for Coronavirus related expenses.

    https://twitter.com/jasonfurman/status/1242845260591575040?s=20


  34. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:25 am:

    ===Bad news Rich===

    Not necessarily.


  35. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:26 am:

    Rauner is gone. He was horrible. Move along.


  36. - Nick - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:28 am:

    Depending on the strings attached if its only to help with expenses related to responding to the virus, while not nothing, that would mean it’s not meant or able to cover the likely massive revenue shortfall we’re about to experience.


  37. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:28 am:

    ==presidents and governors==

    For a useful compare and contrast, watch our Gov’s press briefing and then watch the President’s. There has been a stark contrast. (Even within the President’s briefings there is a notable contrast.)

    We have seen bipartisan leadership step up at the state and federal level with a few very notable exceptions. It seems like most of our leaders are doing their jobs pretty well while having to work around a small number of folks still caught up in their own worlds.


  38. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    ===that would mean===

    Stop. You don’t know what it means.


  39. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:35 am:

    Blue Dog is correct. Airlines should be more regulated like a utility. Restrict routes like they used too. Protect pensions etc
    And if you can say bailouts won’t fly anymore I can say no more golden parachutes


  40. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:36 am:

    Attach boy Dupage.


  41. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 11:39 am:

    ==the viability of the airline industry being part of the private industry==

    Airlines owned or partially owned by the government aren’t faring any better right now.


  42. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 12:04 pm:

    Demoralized is correct. saw that the Emirates…believe that place…shut down air traffic.


  43. - Fly like an eagle - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 12:16 pm:

    - - And Illinois failure to have an adequate rainy day fund - -
    The rainy day fund was supposed to be fixed after the Fair Tax passed and new taxes were raised in 2021.
    https://capitolfax.com/2020/02/21/ctba-breaks-with-pritzker-over-education-funding-proposal/


  44. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 12:29 pm:

    The entire aviation industry is not as badly impacted as the passenger airlines. Cargo companies are working overtime right now carrying both their normal loads and the cargo that normally flies in the belly of passenger jets.


  45. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    I think the state and local fund is inadequate. In 2008 the estimates were for a $140 billion shortfall on state revenues. This will be much worse.


  46. - OpentoDiscussion - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 12:34 pm:

    This is all probably necessary.

    But WOW, the national debt escalates ever more. And that does not seem to appear in anyone’s radar.


  47. - Jocko - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 12:34 pm:

    ==he viability of the airline industry being part of the private industry==

    $17 billion for businesses deemed “critical to maintaining national security” sounds a lot better than “bailout for Boeing”


  48. - Unionman - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:02 pm:

    Rauner strikes again! Because of his illegally stopping step increases, I get an extra 20K in 2019. I was a responsible citizen and already filed my taxes. So they will use my 2019 AGI to determine if I get a stimulus check, but I may be out of the bracket now because I made an extra 20K in 2019. Had step increases gone on as normal, I would still make the cut for stimulus money.


  49. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===and that does not seem to appear in anyone’s radar.===

    The signature legislative accomplishment of the Trump administration was to cut taxes, mostly on businesses and for the wealthy, leading to annual $1 trillion deficits. Let me assure you that these exploding peacetime deficits were and remain in the radar screen of plenty of us.

    But this package is critically necessary, unlike the on-going corporate giveaway to the wealthy. The extra $3-4 trillion that Trump and the Republicans wasted is what really makes me mad. And if you aren’t mad about that too, you’re not paying enough attention.


  50. - Responsa - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    I’m disgusted beyond words that the House leadership apparently has just bailed on voting on this emergency bill. Flawed or not it is necessary. Just spoke to my congressman’s office which seems to be out of the decision making loop.


  51. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:25 pm:

    ===apparently has just===

    Take a breath. It’s a process.


  52. - Responsa - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    I don’t think the intent of the intense bipartisan Senate negotiations and bill passage last night was so Mrs. Pelosi could adjourn the House this morning without taking action.


  53. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    Responsa:

    The Senate hasn’t voted on it yet and they may not today because there are a few Senators blocking it right now until a drafting error (apparently) is fixed. You can’t vote on something you don’t have yet.


  54. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:44 pm:

    Just remember that 2008 Rahm quote and remember both parties are guilty


  55. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    === I did not attack you and I certainly don’t need any advice or lectures from you.===

    Narrator: his name is “Open to Discussion”

    The necessity of this package is indicative to the need the economy will have to bounce back and regenerate itself in some sectors like hospitality, (restaurants, bars, hotels, convention and tourism) and retail.

    This won’t be a flick of a switch or turn of a key.

    It’s monies trying to force an economy to awake again.


  56. - OpentoDiscussion - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 2:02 pm:

    - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    === I did not attack you and I certainly don’t need any advice or lectures from you.===

    Narrator: his name is “Open to Discussion”

    My post you are referring to seems to have disappeared.


  57. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 5:21 pm:

    === Thank you President Trump….presidents and governors own. In good times and in bad.===
    Yes, presidents own. So why hasn’t Trump invoked the Defense Production Act? Things are going to get ugly if medical providers can’t protect themselves and get sick. Trump is going to own this disaster.


  58. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 5:26 pm:

    Sorry. I said invoked, the DPA, I meant deploy.


  59. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Mar 25, 20 @ 9:28 pm:

    Don’t like calling this a stimulus plan. It is like throwing a lifeline to a drowning person and adding oil to a car engine so it doesn’t seize up.


  60. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 8:05 am:

    === I get an extra 20K in 2019.===
    Wouldn’t the stimulus check be based on 2018 taxes? The taxes for 2019 aren’t due til midJuly. I thought the plan was to get the checks out before then.


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