Brady Votes No on Irresponsible State Budget
In an abbreviated 4-day May session, the majority party in the House and Senate pushed through a new state budget plan that increases state spending and debt in the midst of an economic crisis. Representative Brady voted no.
“This budget actually kicks our communities and families when they are down. With record numbers of Illinoisans unemployed, the plan approved on a party-line vote and signed by the Governor actually increases spending over last year by $2 billion, and includes $5 billion in new borrowing. Our families will be the ones paying those bills,” Rep. Brady said.
Also, while holding funding for Illinois State University flat, Democrats increased funding for Chicago State University by $1.4 million.
Now more than ever we need fiscal responsibility and transparency from our elected officials. This year’s critical budget process provided neither.”
FY 2021 Budget Facts
- Spends roughly $42.9 billion even though the State only expects to bring in a little under $36.8 billion
- Includes $5 billion in additional borrowing.
- Contains a $6.1 billion deficit.
- Grants enormous control and authority over spending or withholding budget dollars to Governor Pritzker with practically no oversight.
- Includes a pay raise for legislators.
Workers Compensation/Unemployment Insurance Agreement Good for Workers and Businesses
This spring Representative Brady served on a task force that crafted crucial workers compensation and unemployment insurance changes to respond to the Coronavirus emergency.
“Business leaders, labor unions, and all four caucuses of the General Assembly worked together to help ensure our first responders and also other essential employees who contracted Coronavirus on the job have access to needed benefits,” Rep. Brady said.
The agreement allows workers compensation in cases of first responders, health care workers and other essential workers exposed to or contracting Coronavirus on the job. All employees of health care providers, nursing homes, home care workers and corrections workers are also included.
The Unemployment Insurance portion secures federal coverage of first week’s benefits for claimants, and a total of $2.2 billion in relief for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Benefits will be extended for an additional 13 weeks for all claims made on or after March 15th. Businesses will save on unemployment insurance costs through non-charging due to layoffs. Coronavirus-related unemployment claims will not impact employers’ experience ratings.
Rep. Brady Secures Continued Covid Testing at Bloomington’s Interstate Center
Drive-through COVID testing has continued at Bloomington’s Interstate Center thanks to an agreement Rep. Brady worked out with Governor Pritzker and his Administration. Testing services initially handled by the Illinois National Guard are now being handled by Reditus, a private testing lab from Pekin. Thank you to the Governor and his staff and the Department of Public Health.
“Thousands have driven through for testing at the Interstate Center since ‘shelter in place’ began, and testing remains a key factor in our successful reopening, especially local hospitals and surgery centers that depend on testing for the safety of patients and medical personnel,” Rep. Brady said.
Rep. Brady is also co-sponsoring House Resolutions 872 and 873 thanking our men and women of the Illinois State Police and Illinois National Guard for their dedicated service and response to the Covid 19 Pandemic.
Brady Sponsors Legislation to Ensure no Repeat of Coronavirus Response Failures
While small businesses in our area continue to suffer through the slow and gradual reopening process, Rep. Brady is sponsoring legislation to ensure small businesses will never again be singled out for prolonged closure by any governor. House Bill 5796, called the Fair Business Treatment Act, ensures small businesses will be given the same opportunity to remain open that larger, big box stores that sell the same items currently have.
Representative Brady is also sponsoring House Resolution 860 which calls for the Auditor General to conduct a forensic audit of IDES practices and finances to reveal important details on how decisions were made and what entities received taxpayer dollars to carry out contract services.
“For months, my office has been helping constituents try to navigate the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s failed process for unemployed workers seeking benefits. Tens of thousands across the state thrown out of work by the forced business closures have been unable to get the unemployment benefits they need. We must ensure this can’t happen again,” Rep. Brady said.