CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- While Cook County and suburban government are welcoming the influx of federal CARES Act money to help in the coronavirus recovery, they are anxious for additional aid.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was in west suburban Berwyn on Wednesday - one of more than 100 Cook County suburbs now getting their share of relief funds.
Cook County has received some $429 million in federal relief funds under the CARES Act, and the Preckwinkle Administration is distributing money to suburban governments to help cover their COVID-19 costs.
Cook County Board member Frank Aguilar joined County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for the announcement about the distribution with a Spanish language translator close by.
"President Preckwinkle has taken steps to ensure communities throughout Cook County would directly benefit from the relief funds. Most importantly, those communities in most need," he said.
Mayor Robert Lovero welcomed the $788,000 Berwyn is receiving.
Lovero said officials have been keeping track of what they spent for personal protective equipment and the like, and they glad to have that spending covered.
Berwyn is one of Cook County’s more densely populated suburbs, and Preckwinkle said it was a perfect place to highlight the distribution of CARES Act funding to suburban governments, reimbursing them for COVID-19 related expenses.
But, Preckwinkle said the CARES Act does not cover the major losses of local tax revenue, from all the businesses that closed because of the stay-at-home orders. The Heroes Act would help with that.
She’s now calling for Senate passage of the House-approved HEROES Act.
"The CARES Act provides support for coronavirus-related expenses, but does not compensate local units of government for lost revenue. So we are hopeful the Senate will take up the HEROES Act or some variant that provides support for local units of government," Preckwinkle said.
"We anticipate there will be some Senate action in July - late July or early August, especially since the enhanced unemployment benefit is running out July 31 and we continue to struggle economically."
With so many businesses—like restaurants and stores—closed down for months, the county, its villages, and town governments have lost many millions of dollars they’ve come to depend on.