House Sends Unemployment Insurance Reform Bill to Governor

HB 1285, which was reached by an agreed bill process chaired by the Governor’s office and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, includes provisions to extend the life of the Illinois unemployment insurance program. The bill also eliminates the so-called “Social Security offset,” a feature of existing State law that, under some circumstances, has led to cuts in unemployment insurance payments to persons eligible for Social Security benefits. These cuts have been eliminated by HB 1285, which will allow persons eligible for Social Security who are laid off and are eligible for UI benefits to be paid their full unemployment insurance at the same time they collect Social Security.

The agreed bill process that generated this bill included leaders from business and labor. Business won long-sought changes in the law governing the eligibility of persons to collect unemployment insurance after employment action has been taken based on employee misconduct. The bill’s reduction in the UI taxes paid by employers should lead to increased job creation in Illinois. Representative Dwight Kay fully participated in the bill negotiation process on behalf of his fellow House Republicans and co-sponsored the final version of the bill. The House approved HB 1285 on concurrence by a unanimous vote, sending the measure to Governor Rauner’s desk for final action.