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Asked and answered

Friday, Jul 31, 2020

* Press release…

Today, U.S. Representatives Darin LaHood (IL-18), John Shimkus (IL-15), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Mike Bost (IL-12) renewed their demand for greater transparency of Illinois’ use of federal assistance. The delegation criticized Governor J.B. Pritzker for failing to fully utilize funding already allocated by Congress in multiple COVID-19 relief packages and refusing to disclose information about how smaller, rural municipalities can receive funding as Congress intended.

The U.S. Treasury Department Inspector General published data this week showing how much each state was given from the federal government and how much each state has spent as of June 30th. According to the report, the State of Illinois received $3,518,945,366 and spent only $505,085,663 or 14.4% of the federal COVID-19 relief funding allocated by Congress as of June 30th.

In May, Illinois Republicans sent a letter to Governor Pritzker requesting information about the process for smaller units of local government to obtain federal funding sent to the state and how much funding was sent to smaller units of local government. No information was provided in response to that letter.

“We continue to hear from local leaders in our districts who are struggling because of COVID-19 and Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders. The lack of transparency regarding the federal funding sent to Illinois to support our communities through this pandemic is unacceptable. While Governor Pritzker continues to criticize the federal government and call for additional federal support, he must immediately provide information to the public about how the federal tax payer money he is withholding will be disbursed and a process for how smaller units of government can get access to the funding,” said Republican members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation.

I checked with the governor’s office about this topic because Crain’s had a story on it this week. They pointed out the obvious: June 30th is the end of the fiscal year. And very little could be spent until the GA passed an FY21 budget (which didn’t begin until July 1) . You can look at where the money is supposed to go by clicking here.

* From the Jordan Abudayyeh at the governor’s office…

Instead of baseless political attacks over information that is readily available online, congressional Republicans should focus on getting members of their party to support a comprehensive federal funding package for states and local governments that are providing vital services working families rely on.

All of Illinois’ share of CARES Act funding has been allocated by the General Assembly with the remainder to be spent through appropriations that recently passed during the spring session. In order to fully expend the funds, the General Assembly had to pass appropriations and create grant programs that will enable the state to spend the funds during FY21, which started July 1. A majority of the funding is allocated to FY21 programs that support critical needs such as contact tracing and testing, healthcare providers, economic development and local governments across the state.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

15 Comments »
  1. - tomhail - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:04 pm:

    Great title for this post.


  2. - Ok - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:10 pm:

    Additionally, it appears they aren’t used to a governmental entity that has to actually have money before it can spend it.


  3. - Moe Berg - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:11 pm:

    Starting to wonder if there is going to be a second round of federal stimulus.

    Extended unemployment checks have now expired.

    US senate left for an extended weekend break without taking action and without seeming to have any internal cohesion about a course of action.

    Trump seems disengaged and indifferent.

    The possible GOP calculation: we’ve done enough. If we do any more people won’t go back to work, which is what we need to get the economy going again. And, the Federal Reserve is keeping stock markets near all-time highs, so our donor class is happy.

    That’s all a mirage. We need to get the virus under control to get the economy back on track.

    In addition to being a cheap political hit, maybe this press release is a telegraph: they haven’t spent the money they’ve been given so why should we give them any more?

    Bonkers, but very on-brand for 2020.


  4. - Tin pan - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    Utterly shocked to learn that the ILGOP Congressional delegation has no idea how government in Illinois works


  5. - Back to the Future - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    “Baseless Political attacks” seems quite unfair to the elected Members of Congress who are just trying to respond to constituent concerns.
    I don’t really get the constant attack approach from the Pritzker and Trump administrations. That kind of approach does nothing to solve the huge issues we are facing in Illinois.


  6. - Anon221 - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    Just one more reason to cast my vote for Betsy this November. Bye, Bye Rodney.


  7. - The Doc - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:18 pm:

    ==just trying to respond to constituent concerns==

    LOL


  8. - jimbo26 - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:25 pm:

    The five children need to get their friends in the Senate to approve funding for states & cities in the bill being worked on now.


  9. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
    Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund
    this funding will be used to support online learning, artifact digitization and professional development
    courses

    Hope they can find another Hat appraiser


  10. - Huh? - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    What doc said x5.

    I am fed up with the spineless US US representatives. Rather than do something constructive for their constituents, like voting on a covid19 package, they are attacking Pritzker.


  11. - zatoichi - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:36 pm:

    It must be very, very difficult for Congressional members to arrange a call or meet the governor in their state to ask “What has happened with the money and what can we do together”. Much better to act like they have no clue how the process works.


  12. - Back to the Future - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:40 pm:

    The Doc
    You might be right, but most elected folks I have known are really pretty decent and actually do care about the people they represent.
    Have to admit we all have read about and I surely have meet my share of elected or government folks with “character” issues so I am not dismissing your comment.
    These Representatives of Illinois citizens have a heavy load to carry in getting Congress to give Illinois it’s fair share of tax money. If you were to use the old grade school grading formula of A to F and apply it to our deaths per 100,000 against other US governments, we would be getting a solid D and I think we can all agree the financial mismanagement along with corruption issues are not big pluses.
    I am ok with them raising issues in spite of being a Democrat at heart.
    I just thought the Team Pritzker remark was not helpful.


  13. - 1st Ward - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 2:52 pm:

    @Moe Berg “The possible GOP calculation”

    Interesting CNN article today saying $1.5Tn of earlier relief still hasn’t been used/spent. This is creating some of the rub internally and is a fair question to raise. Why pass trillions more in stimulus if $1.5Tn is still unused? re-allocating makes sense on some level.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/31/politics/stimulus-relief-money/index.html


  14. - Fly like an eagle - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 3:33 pm:

    == I just thought the Team Pritzker remark was not helpful.==
    How so? “ the General Assembly had to pass appropriations and create grant programs that will enable the state to spend the funds during FY21, which started July 1.”
    I thought the answer was succinct.


  15. - Back to the Future - Friday, Jul 31, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    It seems the Governor could have had a plan in place and called the General Assembly into session as the citizens of this state were facing a life and death situation. Like in the case of the nursing home disaster, Team Pritzker sat on it’s hands and Pritzker did next to nothing. Now through his spokesperson, he comes up with insulting comments.
    One thing we have learned in this mess is that we have a great group of health professionals who have been the “tip of the spear” in fighting this terrible pandemic. They never give up or give in regardless of whether or not the federal or state government folks have problems acting as adults.


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