SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRXX) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday announced a move to pay off more than $1 billion in remaining debt in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund and set aside with a little extra for “hard times that may be ahead.” The business community is praising the actions.
During a press conference Tuesday in Springfield, Pritzker said he intends to allot, subject to General Assembly approval, a total of $1.8 billion to the fund, which pays weekly benefits to laid-off workers.
The bulk of the money, $1.36 billion, will pay off what’s left of what had been $4.5 billion in borrowing from the U.S. Treasury at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The remaining $450 million will be loaned without interest to the unemployment insurance trust fund.
As the loan is repaid over the next 10 years, funds will be deposited directly into the state’s rainy-day reserve fund, rather than being spent.
Pritzker stressed this agreement was reached through the agreed bill process. That process brings labor and business to the table.