SPRINGFIELD… State Representative Mike Marron (R-Fithian) issued a statement Wednesday after Illinois House democrats passed legislation that shorts the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund by $1.7 billion.
State Rep. Marron said, “We can do better and should do better for the hardworking people of Illinois instead of continuing the same old gamesmanship and political theater acting like this is in the best interest for the Illinois people.
“Today, Illinois democrats had a simple choice, use the ARPA funding to pay off our unemployment insurance trust fund debt, or impose a tax hike on jobs. As they so often do, they chose a tax hike on jobs.
“The pandemic left us with $4.5 billion in unemployment insurance trust fund debt, but this one-time COVID-related debt also came with a one-time COVID-related solution: CARES and ARPA funds.
“Many other states faced the same challenge we do, and they responsibly used these federal relief dollars to pay off their unemployment insurance debt and avoid tax increases or benefit reductions – but not Illinois.
“The only way to avoid a tax increase on jobs and cuts to unemployment benefits is to fully pay off the debt we owe to the Federal government using existing ARPA funding.
“Leaving a $1.8 billion hole with no plan to pay back the money leaves taxpayers on the hook for future increases and leaves the fund vulnerable in case of another emergency.
“My democratic colleagues told us this is the right choice for the people on this issue, but I full heartedly disagree. We have the funds, and the Democrats are failing to use that money for the exact reason we received these federal dollars, but instead want to allocate the remaining funds for their personal pet projects.
“This is a sad new low for the majority democrats that allowed the Governor to shut our schools and businesses down without any plan to help us get through this pandemic. I voted a strong NO on this complete fiscal malfeasance.”