Democrats’ irresponsible UI debt plan a tax on jobs

SPRINGFIELD – An ill-advised plan addressing Illinois’ unemployment insurance debt, forced through this week by Senate and House Democrats, lays the burden of state government’s fiscal irresponsibility at the feet of employers with the guarantee for higher taxes on and cuts in benefits to workers.

State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) says Democrat lawmakers continue to shirk their fiscal responsibilities by not fully paying Illinois’ $4.5 billion unemployment insurance (UI) trust fund deficit. Approved this week along partisan lines, the Majority Party’s plan includes a partial payment of $2.7 billion for the UI debt.

“Billions of federal dollars were available to pay Illinois’ UI debt, but Pritzker Administration and Majority Party legislators were like kids in a candy shop who now face a fiscal bellyache from their overindulgence,” Tracy said. “Passing on the tab for their fiscal irresponsibility to employers and workers is unconscionable especially as businesses are already reeling from months of government-mandated shutdowns.”

Tracy says lawmakers should have used the $8.1 billion Illinois received from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to fully pay its unemployment trust fund debt. Instead, the Majority Party has spent billions in federal cash on capital programs and one-time expenses.

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