ILLINOIS (WEHT) – Governor JB Pritzker announced an agreement Tuesday to pay off the remaining $1.36 billion unemployment insurance loan balance, replenish the fund for the future, and protect benefits for working families.
Officials say the agreement will save taxpayers about $20 million in interest costs that would be due next September and preserves hundreds of millions of dollars in future federal tax credits for Illinois employers.
A press release says the agreement between representatives from business, labor, bipartisan members of the General Assembly, and the state, will contribute more than $1.8 billion in state funds. The funds will go to the unemployment insurance trust fund, which includes the payment of the remaining federal loan balance borrowed under Title XII of the Social Security Act.
The news release says the remaining $450 million will be placed into the trust fund from state funds as an interest-free loan. As the loan is repaid over the next ten years, funds will be deposited directly into the state’s rainy-day fund.
Governor JB Pritzker said, “Republicans and Democrats are delivering a historic state investment of $1.8 billion to the Unemployment Trust Fund. This bipartisan agreement eliminates the final portion of the $4.5 billion debt forced upon our state during the pandemic and saves Illinois businesses and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade.”
Officials say the agreement strengthens the state’s trust fund, alleviates a burden looming over businesses, and ensures there are no reductions in both the standard number of weeks of unemployment benefits and the amount a person can claim. The agreement is expected to pass via bipartisan legislation during upcoming legislative sessions.