Munoz052920SPRINGFIELD – Recognizing that undocumented seniors are at high risk of hospitalization from COVID-19, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) supported expanding Medicaid to cover low-income undocumented seniors.

“Our undocumented community has been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, both economically and in contracting the virus,” Munoz said. “That’s why it was important to expand Medicaid to undocumented seniors who have few resources available.”

Under House Bill 357, Illinois would become the first state to offer Medicaid benefits to seniors regardless of immigration status. The legislation makes seniors over 65 whose income is at or below the federal poverty level, which is $12,670, eligible for Medicaid.

The initiative was a priority of the Illinois Latino Legislative Caucus as the communities they represent have experienced some of the highest case counts in the state. Latinos make up 31% of confirmed cases and 19% of deaths, while making up 17% of Illinois’ total population.

The measure will be sent to the governor for final approval.

Munoz052820SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) joins the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Broadband to announce the new Illinois Connected Communities grant program.

The program is designed to assist local governments, schools and community organizations with building broadband capacity. The $150,000 grant opportunity will help communities close existing gaps and lay the groundwork for improved broadband access, adoption and utilization. The grants will be provided on a competitive basis, and applications will be accepted here through June 12.

“Access to broadband is undoubtedly one of the toughest hurdles families are facing, especially during the current pandemic,” Munoz said. “The need has gone far beyond the days where broadband was seen as a luxury. We are depending on the internet to access education, healthcare, jobs and even state benefits.”

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BudgetMunoz FBSPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the Senate’s approval of a budget that seeks to address the health and economic stresses caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Increasing funding for immigrant welcoming centers and allowing undocumented seniors to qualify for Medicaid will be significant in the communities I represent as they were left out of federal aid packages.

“I am glad we were able to drive resources to programs that will help small businesses, provide rent and mortgage assistance, and deliver important healthcare services.”

Children ages 3 to 17 and ages 18 to 22 (if in high school), who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced price school meals due to the COVID-19 pandemic related school closures are eligible for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) SNAP allotments equal to the daily reimbursement for free lunch and breakfast multiplied by the average number of school closure days in the month for each eligible child in the household. $3.50 Lunch + $2.20 breakfast = $5.70 daily cost per child.

All children that would receive a free or reduced price meal if school was in session are eligible for the new P-EBT regardless of income or citizenship. Families are not required to be receiving SNAP to qualify for P-EBT assistance or meet financial or nonfinancial eligibility requirements.

Active SNAP households do not need to apply for P-EBT as existing case information will be used to automatically issue benefits when appropriate. For non-SNAP households, an application is required so that a P-EBT case may be set up in the IES eligibility system and benefits can be issued.

Non-SNAP families that want to apply have the option to:

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