FILE - Gov. J.B. Pritzker

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks from his office in Springfield on Wednesday.

(The Center Square) – Lawmakers in the House passed a budget plan that would add $5 billion to Illinois’ tab on the last day of a truncated pandemic special session.

Senate Bill 2099 as amended by the House creates the Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency, or CURE Borrowing Act and authorizes the state to borrow up to $5 billion from the Federal Reserve. The money would be used to cover projected revenue losses for fiscal year 2020, which ends June 30, and fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1.

The measure now heads to the Illinois Senate for concurrence. 

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said the federal reserve program is a good program, but he said Illinois needs reforms.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, the state of Illinois’ legislators and this governor have failed to make tough decisions to put Illinois in a better spot where they don’t need to borrow as much,” Davis said.

Asked Thursday if it’s time to reassess the state’s spending priorities, Pritzker said the state needs to continue current spending levels.

“For people who want to make massive cuts in government today, think about who you’re doing that to,” Pritzker said. “You’re doing that to the middle class, you’re doing that to the working class, you’re doing that to the people who need government the most.”

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.