Durbin Discusses Coronavirus Relief Bill With Illinois Legislative Leaders

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed the Senate-passed Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act with Illinois legislative leaders, including Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan, Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, Illinois House Leader Jim Durkin, and Illinois Senate Leader Bill Brady. Durbin shared how the federal bill, which provides $150 billion in direct federal grant funding to state and local governments, can assist the State in its COVID-19 response.  Illinois’ state and local governments are estimated to receive $4.9 billion in direct federal funding under this program.

“The bill the Senate passed this week was historic in its scope and size, and thankfully much-needed financial relief will be coming to Illinois,” Durbin said. “The COIVD-19 pandemic will continue to challenge state and local governments, Illinois families, and our brave health care workers on the ground.  But this bill will help Illinois respond to this crisis and help free up state and local funding for essential services.”

Senate Democrats made these significant improvements, among others, to the bill Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) originally introduced:

  • Increases unemployment benefits for four months and expands unemployment insurance to self-employed and gig economy workers.
  • $55 billion increase in the Marshall Plan for our hospitals and health care system.
  • $45 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. 
  • $150 billion for a state, tribal, and local COVID-19 relief fund.
  • $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
  • $17 billion for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans.
  • $30 billion in emergency education funding and $25 billion in emergency transit funding.
  • Make rent, mortgage, and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.
  • Ban stock buybacks for the term of the government assistance plus one year on any company receiving a government loan from the bill.
  • Establish robust worker protections attached to all federal loans for businesses.
  • Create real-time public reporting of Treasury transactions under the Act, including terms of loans, investments, or other assistance to corporations. 
  • Provide income tax exclusion for individuals who are receiving student loan repayment assistance from their employer.