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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012

* JBT is on a statewide tour

Judy Baar Topinka was greeted warmly Monday at a Quad-City agency for developmentally disabled, even though as Illinois’ comptroller she had to deliver the news the state is far behind in paying its bills.

“It’s nice to see so many smiling faces,” Topinka said at The Arc of the Quad-Cities Area. “When you owe $8 billion in unpaid bills, friends are hard to come by.”

As of Monday, the state owed The Arc $1.3 million, the agency’s director of development and communications, Maureen Dickinson, said.

Standing with leaders and clients at The Arc’s facility on 9th Street in Rock Island, Topinka said government budget cuts and state payment delays have created staggering fiscal challenges for the state’s service agencies.

Topinka offered a hot line for agencies on the verge of shutting their doors at 855-IL-ASK-US, where she said a “real, live person” can assist them about what their options might be.

“I never want to hear any of your agencies shutting down due to state payment delays,” she said. “I would consider that a personal failure.”

* More stories from the tour…

* Comptroller Topinka visits Rockford to support not-for-profits: “Not-for-profit and service agencies are the backbone of our state. Their services make all the difference when it comes to the quality of life, if not survival, or our most vulnerable residents. We cannot have them shut down because of state payment delays,” Topinka said. “I urge those agencies to contact my office if they are in dire straits because of payment delays, and we will do everything we can to keep them going.”

* Comptroller: Parc may be facing worst - Judy Baar Topinka assures crowd they are not forgotten

* A photo

* The Question: Caption?

And keep it clean, people. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - The Captain - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:05 pm:


  2. - NIref - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:06 pm:

    The check is in the mail. I swear we sent it out on Friday. It’s probably sitting in your mailbox as we speak. Why don’t you go home and check?

  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:07 pm:

    If an agency is truly “on the verge of shutting its doors,” you’re to late to help.

    If the Treasurer wants to help, she should get Republicans behind the bonding plan to eliminate the backlog of unpaid bills while saving the state a fortune in interest.

  4. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:07 pm:

    Not pictured: JBT aide with the remote control to the shock collar on her neck in case she gets too “wacky.”

  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:10 pm:

    “Morty, tell me more about this Lufthansa caper.”

  6. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:10 pm:

    P.S. Under the Prompt Payment Act, the state is currently paying $80 million a month in interest on those backlogged bills, which isn’t quite as sexy as the $12 million a day figure for pensions, but is still a lot of money.

    Enough to keep some prisons open and restore cuts to DCFS at the same time.

  7. - In absentia - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    Why the sad faces, Cheer Up! Pierogi’s On Me!

  8. - jerry 101 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    Today in Rock Island, State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka categorically denied that she was fitted for a radio collar, though pictures appear to indicate she is wearing just such a thing.

    Recently, researchers from Southern Illinois University began a project to trap politicians in their natural habitat, fit them with radio collars, and release them into the wild so that we may better understand these unusual creatures, about whom science knows remarkably little, despite their seeming ubiquity.

  9. - Anonymice - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:27 pm:

    What is that crawling out of Miller’s beard?

  10. - amalia - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    I thought I was going to a rummage sale.

  11. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    The formerly 6 ft. Comptroller shows the burden of the state’s overdue bills on her shoulders.

  12. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:55 pm:

    Guy on right: “That neck ring…no more ties, no bolos. That is me.”

  13. - Humble - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:58 pm:

    My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    Elphaba has been on tour so long that she’s now appearing in the Quad Cities.

  15. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    –Topinka said government budget cuts and state payment delays have created staggering fiscal challenges for the state’s service agencies.–

    Debt Restructuring would allow the agencies (and businesses) to recieve the cash they are owed to help them manage cash flow and absorb the budget cuts.

    What a novel idea, someone should think of it.

  16. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    Tom Cross and Ty Fahner have assured me they have a secret plan that will cut our pile of unpaid bills down to here.

  17. - jerry 101 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    guy on Judy’s left: “Hmmm…what is that thing around her neck?”

  18. - jerry 101 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 1:19 pm:

    guy on Judy’s left (again): “Judy…[the rest must be redacted to “keep it clean”]”

  19. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    Keep your hands to yourself Pat.

  20. - redrum - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 1:29 pm:

    With that control device secured around her neck, Topinka looks like that trendy hipster ape (Helena Bonham Carter) from Planet of the Apes (2001).

  21. - TwoFeetThick - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 1:40 pm:

    “I must stop this whole thing! Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now. I must stop Christmas from coming… but how?”

  22. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 1:51 pm:

    By the expression on Judy’s face, and how pale she is the ghost of Lincoln must have appeared and is asking questions, and the guys on each side also look scared wondering what Judy will answer.

  23. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 2:13 pm:

    I have nothing to do with these problems even though I’ve been in political office most of my adult life.

  24. - just sayin' - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 2:15 pm:

    Look we’ll get someone to clean up Raggedy Andy’s little mess back there, okay?

  25. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 2:17 pm:

    After hearing that Cash Dash has been renamed so Dan Rutherford can send out press releases, Judy put’s on her game face. You don’t want to be around when Judy’s angry.

  26. - bored now - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 2:27 pm:

    my staff promised me you’d only ask questions i already knew the answer for!

  27. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 2:39 pm:

    “I absolutely guaranty that we will pay your bills right after we pay for the pet adoption program that is central to the function of my office.”

  28. - jsg - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 2:44 pm:

    “Show me the money!”

  29. - sal-says - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 3:02 pm:

    “Sure, I’m a politician, but I really DO care.”

    And, sal really does believe it.

  30. - Bemused - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 3:16 pm:

    You will be visited by three Ghosts, watch the one in the middle if she has a toaster in her hand.

  31. - Steve Bartin - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 4:08 pm:

    Judy: “Yes, I know I look like someone who in Avatar”.

  32. - Cheryl - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 5:22 pm:

    I keep coming back and looking at that picture. Someone get Judy to a doctor, okay? I’m serious.

  33. - Pete Granada - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 5:57 pm:

    At least when I make a commitment to AFSCME I Keep it.

  34. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 6:16 pm:

    It’s odd that you say that Cheryl. I had the same exact feeling while watching a video of an interview Kirk did in Southern Illinois (the one where he kept playing with a bottle cap) right before he had his stroke.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 9:01 pm:

    “Comptroller, one more question….Pat Brady - sane… Or Insane?”

    “Who is a better golfer, you or Tom Cross?”

    “With the Olympics here, one question - Better ‘Bond’, Roger Moore or Daniel Craig?”

  36. - Sandy - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 9:22 pm:

    Morthland: “Dude, serious, is that thing going to go off?”

    Verschoore: “She said it’s safe, but man I don’t know, I’m thinking we should make a run for it.”

    Topinka: “Don’t even think about it Pat”

  37. - amalia - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 11:16 pm:

    She’s bad, she’s statewide.

  38. - quotes from the past - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 11:47 pm:

    Crazy Aunt Judy…What is she going to say next?

  39. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 11:53 pm:

    Who died? Could it be Quinn’s pension bill?

  40. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 31, 12 @ 11:57 pm:

    2 Questions for Y’all:

    1. Why is Madigan & Gov in a rush to pass the ‘compounded cola vs health care bill’, and the pension switch to the schools NOW instead of November? Does Mad think he will lose his leadership position in Nov?

    2. Why does the Senate want the two issues listed above passed but only if the bills are passed separately?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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