SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, issued the following statement after the conclusion of a special legislative session to provide critical services and resources for families facing the COVID-19 pandemic:
“Today we took important steps forward as our state and community continues to face an unprecedented public health crisis.
“During this special session my priority was to ensure that working families the receive vital services, protections and economic security that they deserve during this trying time.
“In the budget we passed, we were forced to make tough decisions, making necessary cuts while also preserving vital programs and increasing funding for health programs to help combat the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our budget increased funding for Medicaid and provides over $400 million dollars in funding for COVID-19 tests and other measures to help local health providers working on the frontlines to keep our community safe.
“To help working families that have been hit hard by the economic repercussions of the pandemic we fully funded unemployment benefits and passed additional reforms to increase benefits for folks who have been laid off or furloughed.
“One of my top priorities was to ensure that our schools received the full resources they need to thrive. We were able to maintain funding levels for our local schools and passed additional reforms to help schools adopt and implement more remote learning during a crisis.
“Lastly, I want to sincerely thank all of the first responders, health workers and essential workers who have been and continue to put their lives on the line by working diligently to keep our communities safe.
“While we made significant progress in fighting this unprecedented crisis, there will be more work to accomplish as we move forward. I remain committed to fighting for reforms and policies that put middle-class families in Central Illinois first, and I look forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to accomplish that.”