With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to hurt families across Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker proposed his third balanced budget and state of the state address.
The office of the governor reports the budget will:
- End $1 billion in giveaways to corporations;
- Strengthen safety net services for all Illinois residents in need
- Protect education funding as the federal government directs billions to schools
- Continue investments in economic development, infrastructure and the environment;
- Create a more equitable Illinois through criminal justice reforms.
In 1918, About 23,500 Illinoisans died from the Spanish Flu. As of today, more than 20,000 Illinoisans have been lost to Covid-19.
"The man who preceded me in this job by a century, Governor Lowden, issued a proclamation in October of 1918 telling residents, 'It is advisable to prevent all unnecessary social gatherings for the present.'" said Gov. Pritzker. "The Illinois Director of Public Health at the time, Dr. St. Clair Drake, warned citizens that 'every community in Illinois will be affected by influenza before the epidemic subsides.'”
Pritzker said he's seen many similarites to Illinois today and Illinois back in 1918.
"Everything old always seems to become new again, and despite all we’ve learned and discovered about medicine and science in a hundred years, fighting a raging pandemic successfully continues to rely on the selflessness and sacrifice of our citizens," said Pritzker. "Just as our predecessors did a century ago, we’ve had to shutter businesses, cancel public gatherings, close schools and theaters and restaurants and ask our citizens to wear masks and limit human contact."
And after following in the footsteps from more than a century ago, Pritzker says Illinois has been successful in its handling of Covid-19.
"All of this was in the pursuit of one goal and one goal only, saving as many lives as possible, and we have done that, because of all of you and what you’ve been willing to sacrifice, Illinois never ran out of hospital beds or ventilators or doctors to care for patients, even when our peer states did," said Pritzker. "Despite being one of the largest states in the country, we have one of the lowest transmission rates of COVID-19. Ours is among the most accessible testing infrastructures in the nation, even deploying mobile sites to over 450 communities around Illinois."