Leading through the COVID Crisis

The COVID crisis changed the world for all of us. Through it all, JB’s leadership helped us navigate unprecedented challenges, stepped up where Donald Trump and the federal government failed, and steered the state through these tough times.

Health Care and Public Health

  • Followed the advice of doctors and scientists to protect the lives of Illinoisans during the deadly global pandemic
  • Introduced life-saving efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and became the first state in the Midwest to provide free testing for all Illinois residents
  • Made it easier for retired nurses and doctors to come back to work in Illinois to fight COVID
  • Mandated insurance coverage for telemedicine to help meet demand for health care caused by the pandemic
  • Deployed the National Guard and built vaccination sites in every corner of Illinois
  • Acquired millions of masks, gloves, ventilators, and protective equipment from around the globe to protect Illinois families, health care workers, and first responders

Helping Small Businesses

  • Created the nation’s largest state program giving grants to over 12,000 small businesses to help them keep their doors open during the COVID pandemic
  • Prioritized hard-hit industries in the awarding of state funding
  • Opened seven new Small Business Development Centers to assist businesses applying for federal relief and to help them plan to meet new pandemic consumer demands
  • Launched the COVID-19 Summer Youth Employment Program, which helped low-income and disadvantaged youth develop essential employability skills and earn entry-level employment experience

Helping Vulnerable Communities

  • Increased capacity and streamlined access to emergency shelters for individuals and families impacted by domestic and sexual violence during the pandemic
  • Expanded transportation, grocery shopping, and meal delivery to tens of thousands of seniors during the pandemic
  • Provided resources and assistance to local organizations that serve our most vulnerable citizens
  • Provided unprecedented support for vulnerable immigrant and refugee families, including rental and utility assistance, employment and job training services, and health care

Making Child Care Available

  • Launched a nation-leading child care grant program to support over 5,000 childcare providers
  • Reduced child care co-pay for pandemic essential workers to $1 per month

Expanding Food Security

  • Provided approximately 1 million Illinois children with food relief through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program
  • Assisted school districts in providing free lunch to students
  • Expanded meal delivery programs for seniors and worked with grocers to assist those most vulnerable to COVID-19

Providing Housing Support

  • Protected families suffering pandemic financial hardship from losing their homes with the nation’s most efficient housing assistance program, providing help to over 150,000 landlords and homeowners
  • Prevented utility shutoffs for 115,000 homes and facilitated utility bill reductions of over $115 million for Illinoisans needing the most help
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