May 26, 2020
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As the Illinois legislature’s session concluded, state Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, supported a responsible budget that protects essential services and provides resources for communities weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This session, we had to reassess our priorities and focus on supporting our residents who are battling the pandemic,” said Gong-Gershowitz. “Tough decisions had to be made and my commitment to Illinois and my constituents remains strong.”
Gong-Gershowitz voted to pass a responsible budget that provides necessary funding to allow essential services, such as Medicaid and unemployment insurance, to continue without interruption during the current public health emergency.
“It is vital to keep the state on sound financial footing by only spending what we have available in revenue,” Gong-Gershowitz continued. “I am pleased that we managed to fully fund our most vital services in the wake of the added challenges COVID-19 has placed on the state’s finances.”
The budget includes $719 million in new funding for public health, including $416 million for COVID-19 testing and other services being performed by local health providers. While the full extent of the virus’ impact on state finances remains to be seen, the budget provides the executive branch with flexibility to manage critical services but increases legislative oversight of state spending.
Additionally, Gong-Gershowitz supported legislation to ensure all voices can be heard in the upcoming November election. She backed Senate Bill 1863, which expands vote-by-mail options, and creates the opportunity for local election officers to help people vote through additional curbside voting options, as well as special voting hours for seniors. Gong-Gershowitz originally worked on this bill with the House Democratic Women’s Caucus working group on elections.
“I applaud my colleagues for putting Illinois first, now more than ever, and funding resources for the people in our communities so our state can move forward in a responsible way,” added Gong-Gershowitz. “Our community and state will get through this pandemic by coming together to help those who need it most.”