holmes UI 061621SPRINGFIELD – Following unprecedented job losses and economic hardship due to the pandemic, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) sponsored a bipartisan reform package to address challenges faced by the Illinois Department of Employment Security during the unemployment surge, which has now passed the House of Representatives and is one step closer to becoming law.

“IDES, Democratic and Republican lawmakers, and business and labor groups worked together to craft this omnibus approach,” Holmes said. “It targets the weaknesses revealed in a system that wasn’t designed to address the wave of job losses, phone calls and fraudulent claims all hitting the department at once.”

House Bill 2643 revises the Unemployment Insurance Act, allowing IDES to communicate with legislators’ offices about specific constituent cases, and requires IDES to give more information to those issued overpayments and their right to appeal.

The legislation also includes language regarding temporary benefits, annual reporting to the IRS regarding fraud, and information security for those who have filed claims. The omnibus combines provisions from various bills originally sponsored by State Senators Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) and Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), as well as State Representatives Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego), Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore) and Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago).

House Bill 2643 passed the House of Representatives Wednesday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

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