(The Center Square) – The Illinois House was unanimous on a resolution urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to reopen the offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Those offices around the state have been closed to the public for more than a year.
House Resolution 226 from state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, calls on IDES to make an immediate public commitment to reopen their public-access public employment offices to provide face-to-face help to Illinois residents.
“It is absolutely unacceptable for this governor, the director of this department, to continue to keep these offices closed,” Sosnowski said. “The unemployment office needs to open for the residents of the state of Illinois right now.”
Sosnowski said the excuses the Pritzker administration and the director of the agency are giving aren’t acceptable.
“She is claiming that we are more efficient with the doors to our unemployment offices closed and they have no date, no plans to open, in fact cited a bunch of security concerns, cited health safety concerns, despite the fact Jesse White’s office, Secretary of State, has been opened since June 1st of last year,” Sosnowski said.
While he supported the measure, state Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, urged Republicans to support the budget which could increase funding for IDES.
“Some representatives … think this state runs just on air, but it actually takes money, it actually takes revenue and I think that when we negotiate the budget and we have an opportunity to vote to make sure that our state agencies run, I urge you to support the budget and the revenue enhancements to make sure that we’re able to do that, or even closing some loopholes to make sure that it is possible to do exactly what this resolution calls for.”
The measure passed 108-0 with one voting present.