SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following his first legislative session in office, state Rep. Cyril Nichols, D-Chicago, reflected on efforts to put Illinois on the right track to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on healthcare, job creation, education and investment in essential services.
“As our state begins to emerge from a difficult year, it is vital that state government is working to provide relief to residents,” said Nichols. “In order to ensure that we are able to make a full return to normalcy, we must prioritize those who were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Nichols helped pass a responsible state budget that places a priority on providing relief to residents and small businesses that were heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic while cutting unnecessary and wasteful spending. The budget also works to pay off Illinois’ debt and obligations without raising taxes, moving Illinois toward financial stability without putting a burden on working families.
“With so many programs and services needing additional funding to support those harmed by the pandemic, it is critical that we allocate our resources as efficiently as possible to ensure that those who need relief the most are receiving it,” said Nichols. “Not only does this budget accomplish that goal, it does so in a sustainable way that improves our fiscal outlook without asking residents to have to pitch in extra after a year in which so many are stretched thin financially.”
Nichols also supported a proposal to expand child care access by raising the maximum income threshold for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), while also backing legislation to require hospitals in Illinois to provide uninsured patients a discount on medical bills.
“Now more than ever, we must explore all avenues to help keep money in the pockets of residents,” said Nichols. “After more than a year of economic hardship for so many for reasons beyond their control, it is vital that we help families recover and deal with the immediate and long-term consequences of this pandemic. More challenges remain, and I look forward to continuing to meet with residents to understand their thoughts on how we can build a stronger Illinois that leaves nobody behind.”