CAPITOL ROUNDUP: Legislature to Adjourn on May 31

Date: May 19, 2021

With only two weeks left before the May 31 adjournment, the House and Senate have hundreds of bills in final consideration. Some of these bills deal with major issues including a state budget, a controversial new map of legislative districts, ethics legislation, and tax increases for some corporations if Governor Pritzker’s “loophole” closures are passed.

One of the reasons his proposal may fail is that tax receipts continue to come in well above expectation. The revenue estimate for fiscal 2021, which ends June 30, has been increased by $1.4 billion and by $842 million for fiscal 2022.

Also, Illinois will receive an additional $600 million in federal stimulus funds, bringing the total to $8.1 billion. Whether the state will be able to use the federal monies to repay the $2 billion it borrowed from the federal government in December is unclear.

Help Wanted

Illinois small businesses, like those across the country, continue to struggle finding qualified workers to fill job openings. Some states have moved to end the $300 weekly unemployment benefit provided by the federal government to spur reluctant recipients back into the workforce. Illinois is not one of those states. With pent-up consumer and travel demand, this summer could be a lost opportunity for some Illinois businesses that can’t get workers.

Unemployment Insurance Rates

Due to all the forced business closures and worker layoffs during the pandemic, Illinois exhausted its trust fund reserves back in the summer of 2020 and has had to continue to borrow to pay benefits. Illinois owes around $4 billion to the federal government to repay the UI trust fund. NFIB and the employer community is working to mitigate the financial impact the repayment could have on small businesses.

Mandated Paid Sick Leave

The legislation we’ve been fighting against for several years (and thought was dead for this session) is back. Language similar to HB3898 called the Healthy Workplace Act has reappeared but will likely become an amendment to a different bill. As proposed, the bill would mandate all employers provide up to 40 hours annually of sick time to workers who would earn it through the number of hours they work. We believe the “one-size-fits-all” approach would hurt small businesses. Please click on our Take-Action Alert and tell your legislators to oppose this bad bill.

Related Content: Small Business News | Illinois

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