SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez, D-Cicero, issued the following statement Sunday after the conclusion of a special session to address the state’s most urgent needs amid the coronavirus pandemic:
“We are in extraordinary circumstances as families throughout Illinois continue to feel the effects of COVID-19. During this session, we focused our efforts on ensuring essential services can continue uninterrupted and providing resources for the people in our communities who have been most heavily impacted by this storm.
“We worked to pass a balanced budget that prioritizes critical services, like Medicaid and unemployment insurance, to protect laid-off and furloughed workers and their families. Our budget also provides new funding for public health, including $416 million for COVID-19 testing and other services being performed by local health providers.
“To support essential employees who are facing serious risks to their health, we voted for a worker protection package that makes it easier to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are exposed to COVID-19 on the job. Additionally, we expanded access to tele-health and mental health resources, to help more people receive the potentially life-saving care they need.
“The truth is that this pandemic—and its effects, both direct and indirect—may linger for a very long time. Looking ahead to the fall, we took steps to help our schools prepare for every scenario, and to ensure everyone can safely participate in the November election with broad vote by mail and curbside voting options.
“We will face more challenges in the months ahead, and my focus remains on protecting the well-being of our community during and beyond this crisis.”