Rauner reaches agreement on Ill. unemployment insurance reforms
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner reached an agreement on Monday with business and labor leaders on new unemployment insurance reforms for Illinois.
The changes trim seven qualifying situations from a list of instances in which a worker could apply for unemployment insurance. Under current rules, employees who were let go from a job because they had falsified application information, used drugs or alcohol during work hours, endangered the safety of themselves or co-workers, failed to maintain required licenses or registrations, damaged an employer's property, violated written company policies, or refused to obey an employer’s reasonable and lawful instructions are all still eligible for unemployment benefits.
Monday's agreement would make the workers ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
“We have a lot of work left to turn around Illinois, but today’s agreement is a step toward making us more competitive so we can increase investment in the state and grow jobs,” Rauner said. “I want to thank the legislators involved in crafting this agreement and urge the legislature to swiftly pass legislation and send it to my desk.”
The agreement was painted as a common-sense reform that made sense for labor leaders and business representatives alike.
“On behalf of the employer community, we would like to thank our counterparts in labor, the Rauner administration and the representatives of the four legislative caucuses who all played valuable roles in reaching this agreement,” President and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association Rob Karr said. “While the discussions were rigorous, they were always fair and ultimately productive.”
The agreement also will allow Social Security recipients to receive a full unemployment insurance package, returning $25 million to local seniors. Illinois is currently one of two states that deduct half of a recipient's Social Security amount from their unemployment insurance benefits.