Pritzker announces deal to eliminate pandemic UI debt


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Governor JB Pritzker announced an agreement to pay off the state of Illinois’ remaining $1.36 billion unemployment insurance loan balance Tuesday.

The bipartisan agreement will save taxpayers an estimated $20 million in interest costs that would be due next September.

Representatives from business, labor, bipartisan members of the general assembly and the state came together to complete the deal, which will contribute more than $1.8 billion in state funds to the unemployment trust fund, including the payment of the remaining federal loan balance borrowed under Title XII of the Social Security Act, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

“I’m proud to announce that together, we’ve reached a historic, bipartisan agreement to eliminate pandemic-induced UI Trust Fund debt,” 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.”

According to the press release, 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.

“This is a good agreement for both employees and the business community in the State of Illinois,” said State Representative Dan Ugaste (R-St. Charles). “Across-the-aisle cooperation of this type is what provides the best results for everyone in the State.”

The bipartisan legislation is expected to be officially passed before the veto session wraps up later this week.

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