Illinois Republicans urge Gov. Pritzker to opt-out of expanded unemployment benefits

Local News

(WTVO) — Illinois Republicans are calling onto Gov. Pritzker to opt-out of paying expanded unemployment benefits. Now, people who lost their jobs during the pandemic can still claim an extra $300 a week.

Federal pandemic unemployment benefits will expire in September. Several businesses are struggling to find candidates to fill open jobs.

Data shows many in the unemployment line still have lingering concerns about child care and their own safety. But now some Republicans are arguing the extra jobless benefit keeps people from actively seeking work.

“They’ve got great jobs available at living wages and limited to no applicants. Why? Could it be that we’ve created a disincentive to work for many in Illinois, we need to address the continuing benefit payments that are keeping our Illinois workforce away from these great jobs,” said Rep. Marty McLaughlin, (R-Barrington Hills).

The state lost more than 820,000 jobs between February and April 2020. In the 11 months since we’ve added about half of them back.

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