"Recent job loss numbers underscore how urgently unemployment benefits are needed," Durbin said. "Putting money in the hands of unemployed families means they will be able to pay their rent and utility bills, buy groceries and clothe their children. Extending unemployment benefits is the not only right thing to do to aid struggling families, but it will also breathe some life into our struggling economy."
One of six states certified by the U.S. Department of Labor to share in the $7 billion made available for UI modernization by this year's Recovery Act, Illinois qualified for incentive funds because it allows workers to use their more recent earnings to qualify for benefits.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn lauded the announcement, calling the funding "vital support to the people of Illinois as they cope with these difficult economic times." Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said Illinois recognizes the importance of providing an economic safety net for workers who have entered the workforce recently and lost their jobs through no fault of their own. "It is the right thing to do for workers and is good for the state's economic recovery," Solis said.