Gov. JB Pritzker called on the General Assembly to return to Springfield and enact economic relief efforts. Among the points he urged lawmakers to take up:

  • Comprehensive economic relief plans for families, small businesses and small towns.
  • Significantly increasing rent assistance for individuals as well as rent and mortgage assistance for small businesses.
  • Assistance for businesses that expressly prioritizes those ignored by the Paycheck Protection Program.

He later clarified that he hoped the General Assembly would return before the end of the month but said he wasn’t going to order a special session, in part because he didn’t know if lawmakers would show up.

The governor also announced that DCEO will administer a $25 million grant program for local governments to fund infrastructure projects. DCEO will host webinars in the coming days to assist local governments with applying. He also announced a $75 million grant program to hospitals, which will disburse through June.

All this came as the state reported the largest single day tally of new infections at 4,014 cases, which comes a little more than a week after beautiful weekend weather saw many people ignoring social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reported 144 additional deaths, bringing the state's total death toll to 3,601. She reported a statewide COVID-19 test positivity rate of 18%, and explained that the data reflects a week-long period with three days of lag to allow for better verification.

The state also received 29,266 test results in the last 24 hours, the highest testing mark to date.

Addressing concerns about the veracity of the death toll, Dr. Ezike said all COVID-19 deaths that have been tabulated as such are done so because they have laboratory confirmation of the presence of the virus in the deceased person. She said past cases may not have been counted if there was no suspicion of the virus' presence, and that efforts are being taken to ensure that deceased persons who died of, for instance, a gunshot wound, would not be counted amid the COVID-19 death toll. At the same time, many who have died have had other less clear-cut underlying health concerns, such as cancer.

Taking questions from reporters, the governor said he wouldn’t rule out withholding federal disaster aid from communities that intentionally disobey his executive orders. The question was prompted by Pennsylvania’s governor making that threat yesterday.

“We would consider that,” Pritzker said.

He said most people in Illinois are following the orders and the small minority who aren’t are guided by partisanship and are not following any science or data.

Pritzker said the state supplies lots of support for cities and counties, there are numerous methods of executive enforcement but that he hoped to not have to use them.

Asked about unemployed workers getting bank cards but being unable to access any benefits, Pritzker said those cards are often mailed out before final approval of the applicant and that IDES and the bank are working through the issue.

The governor was asked to comment on the Elmhurst mayor’s demand that DuPage County be treated differently than Chicago and be allowed to reopen.