State to borrow $2 billion from Federal Reserve to help fill COVID-19 hole, Pritzker says

Federal Reserve Photo credit Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday said state government will borrow $2 billion from the federal government to help offset continuing financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pritzker said that’s less than half of the $5 billion credit line the state could tap from the Fed. He said increasing the state’s debt further would be a bad idea.

How will the state pay off the $2 billion it will borrow? The governor said he’s hopeful Congress and the forthcoming Biden Administration will approve a stimulus package that includes aid to states. Pritzker said it’s also possible normal state revenues could start rebounding if the pandemic is snuffed out in 2021.

The update on state finances came as Pritzker offered the latest coronavirus briefing for Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public health reported 11,378 new cases of coronavirus, including 155 deaths from COVID-19.

The Illinois statewide positivity rate is 10.6%. Although that is double-digits, officials say it’s possible Illinois is seeing a flattening of new infections.

Still, Pritzker and IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike again urged residents not to celebrate Thanksgiving with other households this year.