holmes 060121 2SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) applauded investments in pensions, local governments and the Illinois workforce in the upcoming fiscal year budget, which passed the Senate Monday.

“This is a balanced budget. I believe the most important part of what we passed tonight is that we will make our full pension payment as planned,” Holmes said. “This is such a cornerstone of our ongoing efforts to address our underfunded pension system.”

Holmes noted this budget funds the Local Government Distributive Fund, which allocates resources to local governments, at 100% with $1.6 billion. With many communities still recovering from the pandemic, this investment could help governments fund everyday core services for their residents without increasing property taxes or other fees.

“One state agency in particularly urgent need of recovery resources is our Department of Employment Security,” said Holmes. “The pandemic revealed flaws in an unemployment security system that wasn’t designed to address the job losses, service problems and fraudulent claims that hit the state all at once last year.”

An increase of $163.9 million in state funds and $10 million in federal funds will go toward upgrading IDES technology to better serve out-of-work Illinoisans for FY2022. IDES will also get an extra round of funding for the current year of $525.8 million