Gov. Pritzker signs unemployment insurance agreement

Governor JB Pritzker signed the Unemployment Insurance Agreement on Thursday, December 8.
Governor JB Pritzker signed the Unemployment Insurance Agreement on Thursday, December 8.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 4:56 PM CST
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ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Governor JB Pritzker signed the Unemployment Insurance Agreement on Thursday, December 8.

It finalizes a bipartisan plan to pay down $1.36 billion in UI loan debt remaining from the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a release from the governor’s office, the agreement will save taxpayers an estimated $20 million in interest costs that would be due next September.

“Today, I signed historic, bipartisan legislation to eliminate pandemic-induced UI Trust Fund debt, replenish the fund for the future, protect benefits for working families, and further fuel Illinois’ strong economic trajectory,” Governor JB Pritzker said in the release. “We are delivering an investment of $1.8 billion—$1.36 billion of which will pay off the remaining balance of federal advances and $450 million of which will serve as an interest-free loan 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. It will save Illinois businesses hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade, and it will save taxpayers $20 million in interest costs that would otherwise have been due next September.”

According to the governor’s office, the bill, negotiated by representatives from business, labor, bipartisan members of the General Assembly, and the state, will contribute more than $1.8 billion in state funds to the unemployment insurance trust fund, which includes the payment of the remaining $1.3 billion federal loan balance borrowed under Title XII of the Social Security Act.

They said 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 10 years, funds will be deposited directly into the state’s Rainy-Day Fund, also known as the Budget Stabilization Fund.

This is the third contribution to the outstanding loan balance, which increased significantly after the fund was forced to borrow $4.5 billion in federal funds to provide relief to workers unemployed due to COVID-19.