March 25, 2022 Capitol News. Lawmakers from both Chambers were in Springfield all week this week as they head to the last scheduled two weeks of session. Actually, the calendars in both Chambers are not overloaded with legislation as the close of the Spring session nears. A number of key pieces of legislation still need to be finalized. On Wednesday, the House took up legislation to partially address the deficit in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, with the Senate finishing that work yesterday. There is still work that remains to be finished on that issue, but legislators took some big steps to fill the hole. The problem is, there is still a funding gap of $1.8 billion to be filled. Below is an article from Crain’s Chicago Business that provides good insight into the issue. The state’s overall budget is still being hashed out. Keep in mind, the state still has money left over from the federal Covid relief monies and continuing revenue from the sales and income taxes are exceeding projected levels. A sober reminder, however, these revenues are expected to drop in FY ’23 and cannot be used as a benchmark for a stable and growing revenue stream for the state.
Legislature gives final OK to unemployment bailout From Crain's Chicago Business:With Republicans strongly pressing for more, the General Assembly today gave final approval to a bill that would fill most but not all of a huge hole in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund with money left over from the last federal COVID relief program. The action came on a 39-16 vote in the Senate, sending the bill to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his expected quick signature. The measure would allot $2.7 billion to fill a $4.5 billion deficit in the fund, which pays unemployment benefits to laid off workers. That will leave a $1.8 billion hole, which likely will be filled by a combination of higher payroll taxes on business and reduced benefits for workers. Democrats who control a majority of the Legislature argued that the action is responsible, leaving some federal dollars available for other COVID needs while picking up a bigger share of unemployment insurance, or UI, debt than some other states, such as Indiana and Ohio.
Along those same lines, unemployment continues to fall in Illinois, albeit at a slower pace than some of our Mid-Western neighbors.
Statewide Unemployment Rate Down, Payroll Jobs Up in Feb. SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell -0.2 percentage points to 4.8 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased by +19,600 in February, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The January monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report from +8,600 to +10,800 jobs. The January unemployment rate was unchanged from the preliminary report, remaining at 5.0 percent. The February payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th.
In February, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+8,300), Manufacturing (+4,800), Leisure and Hospitality (+4,800) and Educational and Health Services (+4,300). The industry sectors that reported monthly payroll declines were: Professional and Business Services (-3,400) and Financial Activities (-400).
Be Safe Stay Healthy Mark Strawn & Kevin Morphew
Scholarship applications. Applications for AGCI’s Education Foundation Scholarship are now available. The application and statement of requirements may be downloaded from our website.
The scholarship is open to children and grandchildren of full-time employees of AGCI members. The scholarship is $3000 per year for four years of undergraduate work considering the recipient maintains the required grades and stays in good standing with the college/university. Students applying to technical schools are encouraged to apply. The student must be entering into a major/course of study compatible with a career in the construction industry.
Completed applications and any accompanying documents should be sent to:
AGC of Illinois 3219 Executive Park Dr. Springfield, IL 62703
All applications must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2022.
Nu Way Expo coming to Springfield. Recently, AGC of Illinois welcomed supplier Nu Way Concrete Forms as our newest associate member. Nu Way would like to inform our members of their upcoming expo, which will be held April 14 at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. They’ll be showcasing the latest products from some of the best-known brands in the industry, such as Milwaukee, Bosch, and Husqvarna. There’ll be hands-on demos, door prizes, and more.
Cardinals/Cubs game. The Chicago Cubs will host the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on Friday, June 3. Game time is 1:20 p.m. Tickets for the bleachers are available at $82.88 apiece. If you’d like to take in the latest matchup in baseball’s greatest rivalry, send an email to Brittany Kesterson!
AGCI’s Leadership Academy is back. AGCI’s Leadership Academy roster for 2022 currently consists of: Adam Thiele, Valley Construction Travis Davis, Kerber, Eck & Braeckel Robert Reglin, Valley Construction Regan Jones, Altorfer Dillon Carley, Iroquois Paving Lawrence Hasken, Helm Civil Robert Coady, Petersburg Plumbing & Excav. Dean Holeton, Helm Civil Robby Kinney, Kinney Contractors Brett Bogner, Advanced Asphalt Darin Lippolt, Dunn Company Jennifer Bell, Midwest Fence Kyle Krager, Merrill Lynch
To take part in the program, send your participant’s contact information to Bill Frey or Brittany Kesterson as soon as possible. This year’s dates for Leadership Academy are:
• Thurs. May 12, Springfield • Wed. Aug. 17, St. Louis • Thurs. Nov. 3, Peoria
AGC of America convention. AGC of America’s annual convention begins next Monday, March 28 and runs through March 31 in Grapevine, TX. You can still register at AGC of America’s convention page.
End-of-Week Summary.Click here for TFIC’s summary for the week ending March 25, 2022.