Today, Governor JB Pritzker‘s briefing focused on the pandemic’s impact on state revenue. Unprecedented in modern history. For the current year (FY 2020) which runs from July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020, the state is projected to have a $2.7 billion shortfall. This represents a 7% drop in state revenue sources (e.g. income, sales, and excise taxes and other sources such as gaming). They are attributing $1 billion of this shortfall to the decision to delay by three months the filing of 2019 income tax returns. As such, these revenues will be received in Fiscal Year 2021.
In order to attempt to close the FY 20 budget gap, the Governor is asking agencies to reduce expenses and has worked with State Treasurer Michael Frerichs and Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to leverage $700 million in state funds. Additionally, the state will engage in up to $1.2 billion in short-term borrowing.
For Fiscal Year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), they are projecting a $4.6 billion shortfall. When the FY 20 short-term borrowing is taken into account, this gap grows to $6.2 billion. The Governor also suggested that if the graduated income tax does not pass, the gap grows to $7.4 billion.
The Governor stated that the state will not go without a state budget. Additionally, he suggested that their approach to crafting a FY 21 state budget would not come at the expense of education, health care, public safety, and ‘those suffering physical and financial hardship’. It remains to be seen whether that consideration will extend to the retail employers who have been devastated financially and generate the sales taxes state and local governments rely upon.
The Governor called on the US Congress to pass a CARES ACT II to support state and local governments.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION REDUX
As noted Monday, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) approved an emergency rule making it a rebuttable presumption that any essential worker of an essential business who comes down with COVID-19 is presumed to have caught it at work. They utilize the definition of essential businesses as defined in the Governor’s stay-at-home Executive Order. The original rule omitted members of the media and violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA). This afternoon, the IWCC met again and adopted a slightly revised rule. The revised rule added members of the media and corrected the violation of the OMA. The revised rule can be read here.
ILLINOIS COVID-19 IMPACT UPDATE
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 1,346 new cases in Illinois, including 80 additional deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 24,593 cases, to date, including 948 deaths, in 89 of Illinois’ 102 counties. Additional information can be found here. COVID-19 stats by zip code can be found here.