SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, issued the following statement Sunday, upon the conclusion of a special session to address the state’s most urgent needs amid the coronavirus pandemic:
“The COVID-19 health crisis has created massive challenges for just about every resident of our state. The budget I supported provides targeted relief to those who need it most, like the small business owners in danger of permanently losing their livelihood and the furloughed workers who can no longer afford basic necessities. This budget also makes our full pension payment, keeping our promise to retirees, while increasing legislative oversight of state spending to ensure we are not spending money we do not have.
“The pandemic has not only exposed gaps in our current health care and economic systems, but also generated new priorities to be addressed. This week we passed measures expanding support for tele-health and mental health services, so residents can safely receive the care they need. Workers affected by the virus will also have access to additional resources, including expanded unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits for those sickened on the job.
“Even as our region takes steps to reopen and get people back to work, the economic impacts of COVID-19 are still being realized. There is much more work to be done to help Quad-Cities families and businesses regain stability, including long-term property tax relief. Throughout and beyond the current emergency, I will continue fighting to build a stronger Illinois.”