Illinois Democrats hold victory lap press conference after passing unemployment fund bill

Gov. Pritzker spoke Thursday afternoon. (Photo courtesy: Mike Miletich/HOI)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Democrats congratulated themselves Thursday afternoon on the bill that replenishes the unemployment fund.  Illinois Republicans wondered why.

The $2.7 billion dollar payment – representing only half the fund’s shortage – passed both chambers on a partisan vote, and State Sen. Win Stoller (R-Germantown Hills) said they’re doing it wrong.

“Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri – they all used enough of their ARPA funds to completely solve their problem,” Stoller said around the same time that Gov. JB Pritzker, in his office two floors above, shared a differing viewpoint.

“It appears to me that the Republicans are acting at every turn, in some fashion, that they think will benefit them politically. They’re wrong. The people of Illinois want us to pay our bills. That’s what we’re doing.”

Pritzker said as for the impact on unemployment benefits … he doesn’t know, but said that’s for labor and business to work out in the coming weeks.

Speaking of labor and business, while Pritzker lauded their leadership and involvement, State Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) said Pritzker’s misleading you. She said labor and business actually oppose the bill as passed, but they wouldn’t say so, adding Democrats had a figurative gun to their heads.

Dave Dahl can be reached at


Labor Day – Expanding voting rights for all

By Mike Matejka Because of COVID, there is no Labor Day Parade this year.  It’s always a great event for our everyday workers to march proudly down the street and enjoys the festive crowd. If there had been a parade, this year’s Labor Day theme was to be “150 years of struggle: your right to vote.” …

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…