* 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.