As of Wednesday, Illinois has spent more than $238 million on resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In some cases, trying to secure equipment and supplies has led Illinois into bidding wars with other states.
How does the state ensure it can get what it needs while also avoiding a massive payment backlog?
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza says that spending has led to a state budget hole surpassing $4 billion — and that the federal government needs to step in and help states, both financially and with personal protective equipment.
Bidding wars could have been prevented, Mendoza said, if the federal government had enacted the Defense Production Act.
“It’s kind of like the wild, wild west,” Mendoza said Thursday on “Chicago Tonight.” “In the absence of a concerted federal response states have had to fend for themselves.”