U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said Tuesday that he wants to see the aviation industry and small-business owners get a helping hand in the next round of coronavirus economic stimulus measures.
Davis, a Taylorville Republican, supported a smaller relief bill that’s already passed the House and is expected to pass the Senate this week. That legislation includes paid sick and family leave for some workers, extended unemployment benefits and emergency funds for food security programs.
On Tuesday NPR reported that the Trump administration is also asking Congress for $850 billion in new economic relief. Davis said there are many large U.S. industries that will need help, starting with airlines and airports.
“That’s a big deal,” Davis said at a press conference in Uptown Normal. “And it’s not just the aviation industry. It’s our smaller airports, like (Central Illinois Regional Airport) here (in Bloomington) that are going to lose passenger opportunities. We need to make sure that they still have the ability to remain viable once this crisis is over.”
Davis said he’d also like to see small-business owners well-represented in the next, larger wave of coronavirus stimulus.
“We need to ensure they don’t get left behind,” he said “In government stimulus packages in the past, the small-business owners, the Main Street mom-and-pop shops, haven’t been put to the forefront, and I’m going to make sure they are.”
Davis was joined at Tuesday’s press conference by state Rep. Dan Brady, a Bloomington Republican. They share a district office in Uptown Normal.
Brady said he spoke to Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday morning. He said Pritzker is considering a sales tax holiday, giving a break to businesses who owe taxes later this week. Brady said it’s an idea that has support from the business owners he’s spoken to.
“They are right now in the midst of trying to make that decision, and what they can do. I encouraged the governor to do exactly that,” Brady said. “You want to do something? That’s something tangible, that’s real, that could help us.”
Brady said state lawmakers will also need to develop an economic stimulus package of their own. The Illinois House on Monday postponed its session in Springfield until danger from COVID-19 abates. Lawmakers' scheduled adjournment date is May 31.
“We have to put some package together similar to what’s been done by the federal government—something they can really see. And a first step would be that sales tax, that we push that back for them,” Brady said.
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