According to a new story from the Wall Street Journal, Illinois is one of four Democratic-controlled states that refused to fully repay the federally borrowed money used to fund unemployment benefits, even though each state had a budget surplus.
Illinois, California, Connecticut, and New York are states that chose to use budget surpluses for other priorities instead of paying back their debts to the federal government.
After the spring legislative session ended, Illinois still owed roughly $1.8 billion in its Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund even though the state increased its permanent operational budget by nearly $3 billion.
If that $1.8 billion debt, which is the second highest negative balance in the nation, isn’t repaid by Nov. 10, the federal government will begin to charge $21 per employee annually on all businesses within the state next year. Additionally, businesses will be forced to pay a still undetermined higher state tax to fund Illinois’ unemployment programs.