WASHINGTON – US Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and US Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) were joined by Representatives Danny K. Davis (D- IL) and Brad Schneider (D-IL) to introduce the Continuation of the interest exemption on state unemployment loans during the Pandemic Law. This legislation would extend the waiver of interest payments on federal unemployment loans during the pandemic to help financially assist Illinois and other states as they support their constituents and respond to the dual health and economic crises.

The bill would extend the interest-free loan period from September 6, 2021, to September 30, 2022. The provision is set to be contiguous with the expiration date of the interest-free exemption, meaning there would be no gap. in relief to the states. It would operate retroactively as if the interest-free nature had never expired. A further extension of the unemployment loan interest waiver will enhance state and business recovery in many states.

“Illinoisians endured incredible hardship during the pandemic,” Durbin said. “To ease the financial burden on Illinois and other states, we must extend the interest waiver on federal unemployment loans. By extending the waiver, we can give our communities time to recover from the economic pain of the pandemic.”

“It is important that the federal government provide states like Illinois with all the necessary tools to continue addressing the painful job losses from COVID-19,” Duckworth said. “I am proud to help introduce this bill that would make it easier for our state and our businesses to come out of this pandemic stronger than ever by waiving interest on federal unemployment loans.”

“States are on the front lines of helping Americans and businesses recover from the pandemic,” Davis said. “The scars of the pandemic are deep. States are just getting back on their feet and addressing many pressing priorities. Employers are just catching up and adjusting their policies to meet the demands of consumers and the needs of workers. The interest suspension gives states more time to deal with the effects of the pandemic, strengthen their economies, and carefully reform their long-term unemployment financing without suddenly raising taxes on employers or siphoning off tens of millions of dollars that could be used for economic recovery. .”

“States have taken extraordinary steps over the past two years to propel our economy from the brink of global recession to the world’s strongest recovery,” Schneider said. “Now states like Illinois are asking for help. The federal government will be accountable and measured in providing a predictable path back to normal for our states. They should be working to help people and businesses get back on their feet, not pay interest back to the federal government.”

“The meter shouldn’t keep running for taxpayers as states like Illinois grapple with how to pay the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic.” said Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza. “That’s why I’ve reached out to my counterparts in seven other states to marshal support to extend the interest waiver on unemployment advances. This pandemic has lasted much longer than many expected. Ending that waiver prematurely is racking up more costs on the backs of taxpayers and diverting valuable state resources away from the critical mission of job creation and economic growth I fully support and welcome the legislation being worked on by Congressmen Davis and Schneider and Senator Durbin and I urge the rest of the Illinois congressional delegation to join them..”

Congress has moved interest on unemployment loans three times during the pandemic. Multiple state comptrollers, led by Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza, raised the need for the federal government to extend the interest waiver on these loans, as the country is still dealing with the pandemic and states continue to deal with the financial consequences of these. dual crises. In fact, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies supports a continued moratorium on interest accrual and payments because, if interest needs to be paid, states will be forced to raise employers’ unemployment taxes or divert state resources that could be used for economic recovery. The business community also supports the extension of the exemption. The increase in unemployment was due to the pandemic, not the normal functioning of the labor market or the actions of employers.

“Manufacturers applaud Congressman Davis and Senator Durbin for leading efforts to write off interest on Illinois’ massive $4.5 billion unemployment insurance debt. This action could save Illinois tens of millions of dollars in interest payments that could be better spent on economic development, education or health care.” said Mark Denzler, President and CEOIllinois Manufacturers Association.

“As Illinois struggles to address the staggering unemployment insurance trust fund shortfall as a result of the pandemic, members of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) appreciate the leadership of Senator Durbin and Congressman Davis in extending the exemption of interest and allow the funds to be directed to solve the problem of the deficit”, Rob Karr said, President and CEOIllinois Retailers Association.

“The House is proud to support this bill and the significant relief it will provide to states and businesses.” Stephanie Ferguson said, Senior Manager, PolicyUS Chamber of Commerce

the Continuation of the interest exemption on state unemployment loans during the Pandemic Law is endorsed by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, whose members are comprised of workforce agencies in all 50 states, as well as multiple trade organizations, including: the Illinois Manufacturers Association; the Illinois Retail Merchants Association; and the US Chamber of Commerce.

The legislation was also co-sponsored by Senators Michael Bennett (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Tina Smith (D-MN).