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Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzer sounded the "alarm" Tuesday regarding the possibility that Illinois may have to cut 5% from its budget next year, which he described as a "nightmare scenario." He also pleaded with the federal government for a bailout package to help avert such a "nightmare."

"Until Republicans in Washington decide otherwise, middle class, working class and poor families across our state and across the nation will likely suffer from cuts to public safety, education, human services and environmental safety — and the potential layoffs will make the economic recession worse," Pritzker said.

"I can promise you that, for everyone and anyone who got into public service who actually wants to serve the public, this is a nightmare scenario."

Meanwhile, Illinois Republicans had little sympathy for Pritzker's pleas, saying that they warned Pritzker months ago that the state's revenues, which are anticipated to reach only $37 billion, were woefully inadequate to pay for the governor's $42 billion budget package.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, House Republican leader Jim Durkin said, "House Republicans repeatedly warned the Democrats in May about this looming catastrophe — budgeting for $42 billion in spending with only $37 billion in revenue."

Pritzler warned that the budget shortfall could lead to "thousands" of layoffs. The city of Chicago has also faced a severe budget shortfall this year, leading mayor Lori Lightfoot — who has engaged in a frequent war of words with President Donald Trump — to propose a budget that includes severe cutbacks for 2021 in order to make up for a shortfall this year.

Of note, Illinois has consistently lagged behind most of the rest of the country, and federal guidance, when it comes to allowing economic activity to resume in the state. This means that many Illinois small business owners have had to cut their budgets by 100% specifically because of orders issued by Pritzker and his administration, as opposed to the "nightmare" 5% potential state budget cut bemoaned by Pritzker.

For their part, Illinois Republicans promised to work with Democrats to fix the budget hole, though they made it clear that they accepted no responsibility for the shortfall.

Durkin told the Sun-Times, "The $5 billion hole, created by the Democrat-controlled government, was to be filled on a wish and a prayer through a Congressional bailout that never happened. This may be the worst budget in recent memory. My caucus will gladly return to Springfield to fix this disaster with a reality check on our finances and hopefully avoid further damage to our state."

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House Democratic coronavirus relief package to provide more aid for airlines

House Democrats' emergency coronavirus relief package, which has not yet been unveiled, includes additional funding for the struggling airline industry, according to a Democratic aide on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Trump signs largely symbolic pre-existing conditions order amid lawsuit MORE (D-Calif.) had tasked committee heads with drafting a package this week and Ways and Means Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealPelosi asks panels to draft new COVID-19 relief measure AARP endorses Democrats' measure to overturn Trump payroll tax deferral Pelosi, Democrats unveil bills to rein in alleged White House abuses of power MORE (D-Mass.), who is leading the charge, said the package could receive a vote by Oct. 2.

Under the terms of the CARES Act relief funding that passed this spring, airlines are prohibited from firing or laying off any employees until Oct. 1. Once that deadline passes, workers in the industry are expected to take a hit, barring new assistance from the government.

“We have been told that airline worker relief is in the package and are grateful for the strong, bipartisan support. We are hopeful that this is the start of a negotiation that will help our industry and others in distress,” Nicholas Calio, head of the industry group Airlines for America, told The Hill in statement.

On Oct. 1, American Airlines expects to ax 19,000 jobs, and United Airlines said it plans to cut 16,370. Delta Air Lines will delay the effective date for a potential 220 pilot furloughs to Nov. 1 and but will not furlough any flight attendants and front-line workers in 2020 due to the many employees who opted for early retirement.

The airline industry is seeking a $25 billion injection to postpone any job cuts at least until April.

“The jobs and livelihoods of tens of thousands of U.S. airline employees are at stake, and time is running out. We commend the congressional leadership and the Administration for recognizing the urgency of the situation,” Calio said.

The CARES Act, signed into law in late March, provided $25 billion in direct grants to passenger airlines, as well as $25 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

The House Democratic proposal released in May did not provide any additional funding to airlines but included a provision that would have prevented airlines from furloughs if they were still using CARES Act money. The Senate GOP proposal, released in July, did not provide additional funding for airlines either but included $10 billion for airports.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, United CEO Scott Kirby, and JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes were on Capitol Hill this week with union leaders to plea for Congress to made a deal on aide to the industry before Oct 1.

Calio said on Thursday the group has been meeting with leadership in Washington “regularly.” 

Airline CEOs and union leaders were also in Washington last week to met with White House officials and speak by phone with Pelosi and House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioAnxious Democrats amp up pressure for vote on COVID-19 aid Airline CEOs, union leaders implore Congress and the administration to avoid Oct. 1 furloughs Airline CEOs plead with Washington as layoffs loom MORE (D-Ore.).

Tags Delta Air Lines American Airlines United Airlines Peter DeFazio Richard Neal Nancy Pelosi CARES Act Coronavirus coronavirus relief coronavirus stimulus

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