SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — For months, city leaders across Illinois were bracing for the worst. But revenue shortages weren’t as bad as expected, and the state brought even more good news. The state’s budget did not include a cut to the local government distributive fund, or LGDF
“We were just thankful to be able to hold on to the 6% that we have,” Decatur Mayor Julie Moore-Wolfe said.
That’s money that is taken from the state’s income tax pool and given to local governments.
Governor Pritzker proposed a cut to that fund, which scared city leaders in Decatur.
“For Decatur, that was a lot of money, it was close to $3 million, just in a cut,” Decatur Mayor Julie Moore-Wolfe said. “So it’s money we depend on it. It’s how the state divided it up when when the state income tax was first created, so that cities wouldn’t create their own income tax. And so it’s worked really well.”
LGDF money can be used on anything. After the pandemic, leaders have plenty of ideas. In Springfield, its the same amount of money the city was going to cut from the fire departments budget.
“It’s very significant. With regards to us that would actually come from services, whether it’s reducing staffing levels, or equipment needs things of that nature.” Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said.
Cities also got an extension on applying for COVID money from the federal government. The state filtered the Federal CARES act money through the CURE program.
The General Assembly voted to extend the application period for this money after red tape caused cities to miss the original deadline.
“We commend all members of the General Assembly who voted to ensure municipalities receive their full share of federal aid. In extending the Local CURE program deadline, communities across Illinois will be able to utilize funding contained in coronavirus stimulus packages to help their communities recover and rebuild,” said Brad Cole, IML Executive Director.
The federal money can only be used for COVID expenses, including any costs taken on by adjusting to working during the pandemic, as well as any additional PPE or cleaning equipment bought by cities during the pandemic.