In a move that will literally cost billions of dollars in higher taxes on Illinois jobs, House Democrats passed legislation which drastically underfunds Illinois’ unemployment insurance (U.I.) Trust Fund.
“This crisis was manufactured by Governor J.B. Pritzker shutting down our economy and refusing federal help to avert unemployment fraud,” said Assistant Republican Leader C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville).
At issue is an underfunded trust fund whose deficit can be filled with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money. “The Illinois House Republican caucus is united in using $4.5 billion in unspent ARPA funds to pay off our U.I. debt, including $40 million in accrued interest that should have been paid last February when we made this same recommendation.”
“Instead of making employers and employees whole, following forced COVID-closures, the Democrats are putting another burden on the same people who were most affected by the government shutdowns.
“Democrats are rushing to pass an appropriations bill in an attempt to spend the federal ARPA dollars as a re-election slush fund, rather than directing these COVID dollars towards the things that were directly affected by COVID.”
One year ago House Republicans warned of this upcoming crisis and this week Republican Leadership sent a letter to the governor offering a solution.
“Federal ARPA dollars were given to States to cover unseen expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have the money to pay off the U.I. deficit and $40 million in accrued interest owed to the U.S. Treasury. Rather than paying off our debt, House Democrats have chosen to give Governor Pritzker a blank check. This reckless spending leaves unpaid debt which will reduce unemployment benefits and raise taxes on every job in Illinois.”
“Illinois can’t keep kicking the can down the road! We can and must do better than this!”