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Unclear on the concept

Friday, Jul 23, 2021

* Jerry Nowicki at Capitol News Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker isn’t considering using federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay down a multi-billion-dollar Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit […]

The reason Pritzker won’t consider using federal ARPA funds on the $4.2 billion Trust Fund deficit, he said, is because he did not believe it a permissible use of the funding, and he is hopeful that the federal government will provide aid or rule changes to accommodate the 17 states that have outstanding federal borrowing balances in their trust funds amounting to $54 billion cumulatively. […]

Interim U.S. Treasury rules for ARPA funding and the plans of dozens of other states, however, contradict the governor’s statement on the use of ARPA funds to repay the Unemployment Trust Fund deficit. The Associated Press reported on May 27 that “at least 29 states already have transferred or proposed to use a total of more than $12 billion of federal coronavirus aid for their unemployment trust funds.”

Per the interim final rule, published May 17 in the Federal Register, “recipients may make deposits into the state account of the Unemployment Trust Fund … up to the level needed to restore the pre-pandemic balances of such account as of January 27, 2020, or to pay back advances received under Title XII of the Social Security Act.”

* Yep…


Oops!

The General Assembly will have to be involved if the state uses the remaining ARPA money to patch the trust fund, but Democrats want to wait to see if the federal government takes any action before proceeding. Pritzker should’ve known this. It’s been in all the papers.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - Shytown - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 9:12 am:

    I mean, it’s not the end of the world. There’s a ton of permissible and nonpermissible uses. He’s allowed to forget one of them.


  2. - Perrid - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 9:54 am:

    Shytown, sure you can forget things in an interview. But unless the administration comes out and says “Oh, we were planning to do this all along and JB just forgot/was confused”, this wasn’t a slip of the tongue or anything, this incorrect understanding was used to determine how to spend hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars. Sure, people make mistakes, but this isn’t a small one. Hopefully easy to fix, though.


  3. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 9:58 am:

    ===this incorrect understanding was used to determine how to spend hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars===

    No. Pay attention for a change. The money is in reserve. It wasn’t appropriated for anything. No final decisions have been made.

    Sheesh.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 10:03 am:

    ===Pritzker should’ve known this. It’s been in all the papers.===

    This isn’t all that great, and the GA “waiting and watching” is what the GA does… it waits… it watches… always bet on nothing getting done…

    The difference between the big chair and the seats in the GA is the necessity to push the needed, and steer the needed through the process as prescribed… otherwise… governors own that too.

    Head scratcher


  5. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 10:20 am:

    Yep he screwed up. Fortunately, it is an easy fix.


  6. - fs - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 10:46 am:

    == The money is in reserve. It wasn’t appropriated for anything. No final decisions have been made.==

    Is this the same pot or pile of Federal money that the 700 million or so “arp” money is coming from that they just recently said would be sent to local governments? That’s an honest question, there seem to be so many things labeled “arp” or federal money that it’s tough for a laymen to keep straight.


  7. - Phenomynous - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 10:59 am:

    The GA should have given some appropriation authority to make deposits into the UI Trust Fund. The Governor wouldn’t have to authorize the transfer if additional help came through. Obviously a billion plus in pet projects was a higher priority for those who supported the budget though.


  8. - Commonsense in Illinois - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 11:01 am:

    Gee…if the Governor’s office only had someone in a state agency that could respond factually to avoid what was obviously a “shoot from the hip” react…oh, wait.


  9. - natty lite - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 11:35 am:

    We shouldn’t spend money on replenishing the trust fund anytime soon anyway. There are very specific rules for the trust fund, which the COVID relief bills expanded, before carrying that trust fund deficit begins to hit employers with higher taxes — it is not imminent. And even then, it can be bonded for using a specialized credit at low cost, as the state did in the great recession with great success. And as employment comes back, that deficit (or the bonds) will get repaid very quickly as also happened in the great recession. There is almost certainly a better use for the federal money.


  10. - Skeptical - Friday, Jul 23, 21 @ 4:06 pm:

    ==There is almost certainly a better use for the federal money.==

    Name one.


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