An agreement between the business and labor communities was reached last week to address the outstanding loan balance to the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The state took out the loan during the pandemic to help pay the unprecedented number of unemployment claims.
During the final day of the fall veto session, lawmakers voted on an agreement to pay off the remaining $1.363 billion debt using unexpected, one-time revenue the state is expected to receive this fiscal year.
Senator McClure had strongly advocated for the use of federal COVID-19 funding to pay the entire deficit last spring, just as 31 other states did, to avoid any tax increase on businesses. Instead, Gov. JB Pritzker and Democratic leaders refused to pay the full deficit ahead of a tax increase kicking in and spent much of the federal money on pork projects.