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Illinois moves tax filing deadline to July, COVID-19 death count now at 19

Illinois moves tax filing deadline to July, COVID-19 death count now at 19

Illinois will delay April’s tax filing deadline by three months to provide economic relief during the new coronavirus pandemic, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday.

The new deadline of July 15 will put Illinois’ filing date in-line with the federal government, which announced the delay over the weekend. Pritzker said refunds will be distributed “in a timely fashion.”

Comptroller Susana Mendoza said the delay will not impact the state’s ability to make payments to groups such as healthcare workers and other providers addressing COVID-19.

“We will continue to make critical payments for debt service, state payrolls, K-12 schools, our social and human service providers and required pension payments,” she said in a statement. “We will prioritize state payments to our hospitals, doctors and everyday heroes on the front lines fighting COVID-19.”

Pritzker also announced Wednesday three emergency assistance programs that will provide more than $90 million for small businesses in need of additional capital.

A $60 million fund will support small businesses in every industry outside of Chicago with low-interest loans of up to $50,000. The state is providing another $20 million in grants for small businesses in suburban and rural counties and $14 million in grants for eligible bars and restaurants.

“We at the state level are continuing to do everything that we can to deliver our own emergency aid promptly and fairly,” Pritzker said.

State officials reported three more deaths on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 19. The recent deaths include a Kane County man in his 90s, a Cook County man in his 60s and a Will County woman in her 50s.

State officials reported 330 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the state’s total confirmed cases to 1,865 in 35 counties. Douglas, Marshall and Morgan counties reported their first cases.

“As difficult as it is to hear the news about more cases and more deaths each day, I do believe sharing this information will keep us focused and remind us of why we all need to continue to do the right things,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Doing the right thing will eventually lead us to these numbers decreasing and eventually ending this current pandemic.”

Among the new cases are two correctional officers and one man incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill. Those who have been potentially exposed at the prison are being quarantined and the facility is on a 14-day lockdown.

Pritzker said he’s not yet sure how much Illinois will receive from a nearly $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package moving through Congress. He praised federal leaders for coming together on a proposal that will directly pay residents, provide loans for small businesses, extend unemployment benefits for workers affected by the virus and provide relief for hospitals and medical workers.

“This was a record-breaking emergency relief package and one much needed for our state,” he said.

Regarding concerns raised about healthcare workers being given expired personal protective equipment, Pritzker said the supplies received by the federal government has been recently manufactured. In response to a reporter’s question, Pritzker said he does not believe his weekend back-and-forth with President Donald Trump will affect the state’s ability to get future supplies from the federal government.

“My expectation is that people in the federal government want to do the right thing,” he said.

Officials also acknowledged issues with the state’s unemployment system, with reports that the website has crashed due to high traffic and not enough people being available to answer phone calls.

Pritzker said the system is not working as hoped, and the administration is working with the state’s IT department and others to improve the website and make it easier for people to submit their unemployment applications.


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