Robust revenue allows Illinois to repay federal loan early

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Democratic leaders say they’ve agreed to repay federal pandemic-relief loans more than a year earlier than scheduled.

That will save taxpayers $100 million in interest. The plan was announced Thursday as Democrats who control the House and Senate head into the final 10 days of the legislative session.

They’re still struggling to find ways to close a $1.4 billion deficit for the budget that begins July 1. Washington lent money early 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic and containment measures left economies battered and hundreds of thousands on the unemployment line. Illinois borrowed $3.2 billion and has repaid $2 billion.