Negotiations between business groups and organized labor have ramped up considerably in the last week. The parties are now meeting every day in an effort to resolve the $4.5 Billion deficit in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The groups have met weekly since January with the Governor’s Office and the Department of Employment Security to model various financial scenarios to resolve the deficit. Illinois must pay off the $4.5 Billion loan from the federal government by November 1 of this year.
Governor Pritzker has now committed $2.0 billion in ARPA Funds towards a resolution to the problem. The Governor had previously announced a commitment of “substantial” ARPA funds. Having a firm commitment helps the negotiations establish a baseline, as well as eliminate a considerable amount of the problem. However, the balance of the problem still provides for a significant challenge. We have yet to model a financial scenario or proposal that doesn’t include substantial financial burden on employers over the next decade. However, NFIB (and our business counterparts) continue to pursue the least painful resolution possible. There are three weeks left in the scheduled Legislative Session, and even less time to resolve this problem, as this issue will impact the entire state budget. Our backs are against the wall.