The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday, paving the way for President Joe Biden to sign the legislation into law later this week.
The bill had previously passed the Senate, and after a 220-211 vote on Wednesday, the bill will now head to Biden’s desk for his signature.
Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats from Illinois, hailed the legislation as key to helping the state and the nation heal from the impacts that the coronavirus pandemic has had over the last 12 months.
In a statement, Duckworth and Durbin laid out how the funding will be distributed to state residents, including a series of funding initiatives to help the state battle the pandemic:
-Approximately $275 million in vaccine distribution money
-Approximately $1.5 billion for additional testing supplies and other public health funding for Illinois health departments
-More than $100 million for mental health and substance abuse treatment efforts in Illinois
-Hundreds of millions of dollars for community health centers and the workforce staffing those facilities
-Tens of millions of dollars for Illinois hospitals
The big key piece of funding in the bill, one sought by numerous elected officials including Gov. J.B. Pritzker, was funding to help make up for local and state budget shortfalls, and the bill provided funds to states, aiming to help avoid massive budget cuts.
An estimated $13.2 billion will be provided in state and local funding is ticketed for Illinois in the bill, including an earmarked $1.8 billion for the city of Chicago.
Of that money, an estimated $7.5 billion will go toward the state government, with another $5.5 billion going toward lower levels of government. The senators provided a breakdown in the press release, with $2.3 billion going toward counties, $2.4 billion going toward larger cities and $681 million for smaller municipalities.
Individual taxpayers will also benefit from the bill, with nearly 7.6 million Illinois adults qualifying for relief checks. Nearly 85% of Illinois adults will be eligible for the $1,400 checks, according to officials.
Federal unemployment programs will be extended through Sept. 6, and up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits will be exempt from federal income taxes on 2020 tax returns.
Other portions of the bill will extend a 15% increase in SNAP benefits, aiding 2 million Illinois residents. Illinois veterans’ homes will also receive $7.2 million in emergency funding from the bill.
More funding will be dedicated toward opening schools safely for in-person learning, according to the senators. Approximately $5 billion overall will be earmarked for Illinois schools, with an estimated $1.3 billion going toward Illinois’ colleges and universities.
Another $1.3 billion will go toward childcare providers in the state.
Transportation funding is also part of the bill, with an estimated $1.5 billion in transit funding going to the city, helping to fund operating expenses and payroll for workers on the CTA, Metra and Pace.
Nearly $400 million will go toward Illinois airports.
The bill also aims to protect jobs in both the airline industry, with $15 billion to extend a program helping to pay airline worker payroll costs. Another $1.7 billion will go to Amtrak to help restore furloughs and reverse service cuts, according to the senators.
The checks should go out to residents in coming days, with other dispersals beginning after Biden officially signs the legislation into law.