SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Fun with numbers

Monday, Jan 27, 2014

* AP Chicago

Days ahead of Gov. Pat Quinn’s State of the State address, his budget director has sent lawmakers a letter detailing “encouraging” developments on Illinois’ billions in unpaid bills.

The Sunday letter says the backlog will be $5.6 billion by fiscal year’s end, down from roughly $10 billion. Budget chief Jerry Stermer says if progress continues Illinois will be in line with “private-sector benchmarks.” […]

A budget spokesman says there isn’t a connection between the letter and Quinn’s Wednesday speech. He says Quinn will later outline budget issues.

It’s AP Chicago, and it’s a quickie Sunday story, so those unfortunate realities make this story worth a closer look to see if it’s actually true.

* From Stermer’s letter

I am writing to you today with encouraging news. Over the past five years we have worked together and made progress on many critical issues, from reforming our pension systems to overhauling Medicaid, and we have made tough choices and focused on policies that drive our economy forward. Thanks to this collaboration, we are projecting that the state’s backlog of bills will be down to $5.6 billion at the end of this fiscal year. That is more than 43 percent lower than the $9.9 billion backlog at the peak of the recession. […]

If the outstanding bills are paid down – and not allowed to pile up again – the amount of bills making their way through the state’s payment system in any 30-day period ($3 billion or 10 percent of the state’s general-funds budget) will be in line with private-sector benchmarks. Thank you for your collaboration and feel free to contact me with questions.

* But if you look at the accompanying charts, you’ll see that the governor’s budget office actually projects that the bill backlog will be about $400 million higher at the end of this fiscal year ($5.6 billion) than it was at the end of last fiscal year ($5.2 billion).

And this is old news. At the end of March, 2013, the backlog stood at about $9.1 billion. It dropped to $5.5 billion by the end of April, 2013. It’s stayed pretty much constant since then, rising a little, falling a little, rising a little. It was as low as $4.7 billion last July, and stood at $6.4 billion by the end of this past December.

So, why tout this old news? Well, despite the denials above, this is all about setting the stage for the governor’s State of the State address. He’ll probably outline some grand new ideas and he needs to show that, fiscally, things are looking up.

In reality, it looks like the state did a good job last April paying down bills, but they remain stubbornly high now and in the foreseeable future. The budget office says they were “conservative” with their end of fiscal year projections, but it is what it is. The pile was reduced nine months ago, and it’s remained at about the same height ever since.

* Meanwhile, along those same lines, Gov. Quinn’s office touted some new pension numbers

The Quinn administration highlighted another part of the new estimates: if the pension law withstands a legal challenge from unions, the state will see its $100 billion pension debt immediately drop by about $24 billion instead of the previous $21 billion estimate. The better-than-expected projection is being driven by last year’s improved performance of the billions of dollars the pension funds have invested.

* But

New calculations show the state will save about $15 billion less than initially projected from the controversial major government worker pension overhaul that lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn approved last month. […]

Last month, House Speaker Michael Madigan championed the pension overhaul as saving $160 billion over 30 years. But when the financial minds at the pension systems covering state workers, teachers outside Chicago and public university employees took a look, the savings estimate came out to $145 billion.

The full report that the story is based on can be accessed by clicking here.

* Related…

* Quinn sure to tout pension deal in State of the State

…Adding… The Tribune has changed “The Quinn administration highlighted another part of the new estimates” to “Legislative supporters highlighted another part of the new estimates.”

Can’t speak for the Tribbies, but the Quinn administration is pointing at those unfunded liability numbers behind the scenes.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


12 Comments
  1. - Careful - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    “…the better-than-expected projection is being driven by last year’s improved performance of the billions of dollars the pension funds have invested.”

    The ones invested by GTCR? Careful there, Governor.


  2. - Marty - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Have the unions filed a lawsuit against the pension reform law? Last I heard 3 suits have been filed, all by retiree associations.


  3. - Howard - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Yes, Quinn will be looking real good when SB1 is thrown out. The governor can’t make the state look too well off, as that could work against him as in the SB1 preamble. Are the unions attorneys listening?


  4. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    This reminds of the time Mr. Quinn attempted to buffet a string of bad employment news by announcing a company was moving to Illinois…

    and it turned out to be a “re-announcement” of news from many months prior.


  5. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    @Marty - if I were filing such a lawsuit, I would announce the suit either within 24 hours or on the day of Mr. Quinn’s State of the State address.

    Said announcement would be made outside the speech venue for convenient media access. It would also include a stop by the office to personally serve notice.

    That’s just me, however.


  6. - BIG R. Ph. - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    So we are supposed to stand and give him an ovation that we are “only” $5 Bill in the red? When every other state that touches Illinois has budget surpluses?
    He is just setting up making the 67% income tax increase permanent.


  7. - Frank - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    Interesting editorial decision by the Trib in the pension numbers story. If my calculations are correct, the long term “savings to the state” are down 9 percent from the promised level. But the reforms will improve the pension debt outlook immediately by a level 14 percent higher than previously thought.

    The Trib could have led with a “Review of pension numbers shows mixed results.”

    But, no surprise, they led with the negative and buried the positive.


  8. - Irish - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    Are the back wages owed to the state employees that Quinn tried to punish because their unions would not support him, part of the backlog?
    Will Quinn mention that he still owes them? Will he mention that the GA got their back pay immediately after they passed Madigan’s SB-1 ? With interest? But in spite of a judge’s order they just can’t seem to find the money for the state employees who were not paid for work done?
    Or is this a forgotten issue now and we are on to things that affect real people, not those pesky undeserving state employees? I already know the answers.

    Oh look, a kitty.

    Marty - @ 11:07 am The union that represents(?) me, the IFT, is taking it’s time to make sure it files the best lawsuit possible. The president of the union explained this in an email several weeks ago. His email also wanted to make it clear that the lawsuits filed already were NOT the union’s. Evidently the retiree groups have quicker thinking lawyers. So a bunch of us will retire so we miss being under the new law because our union was not ready for SB-1 to be passed, and we will have no idea if SB-1 will be repealed until our union finally catches up.


  9. - downstate hack - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    Only in Illinois would a $5 BILLION backlog in bills and an unbelievably unbalanced budget be encouraging. These guys are delusional.


  10. - Meanderthal - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 2:54 pm:

    I thought Stermer got the boot a while back?


  11. - walker - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Stermer’s statement is perfectly reasonable, and we are making some progress.

    We apparently are at $5.6B in outstanding payables, while for the private sector company of our size, the standard would be around $3B in outstanding payables. No CFO in the private sector pays bills immediately and keeps his or her job. Stermer is aiming for the correct benchmark.


  12. - for what it's worth - Monday, Jan 27, 14 @ 4:39 pm:

    @Irish - From my experience with litigation, just because the retiree groups lawyers appear to be “quicker thinking” doesn’t mean they’re better. They could be filing a hastily-prepared suit that has no chance.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed until Memorial Day
* Gaming bill could grow
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - OT update
* Question of the day
* He gone
* Harmon: Rauner is "bullying" and "holding the entire state hostage"
* Today's quotable
* Madigan tax hike defeated
* Another welcomed change
* Business as usual is right
* Rauner to unveil actual bills today, with no "right to work" in sight
* Serving Consumers, Honoring Veterans – Credit Union Cooperative Values in Action
* Your daily "right to work" roundup
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Good morning!
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Android Community Weekly Digest: May 24, 2015
        * Signatures and improved delete options on the way to Inbox by Gmail
        * New look at Google Photos starts to reveal direction for the app
        * What do you look for in your tech reviewers?
        * An Aging Instagram Tries To Win Us Back With Email “Highlights”
        * GoCardless Founder Tom Blomfield’s New Startup Is A “Full Stack” Mobile-First Bank
        * [Deal] Grab a Moto 360 for $149.99 from BestBuy

        * BLU Products Outs A New Quad-Core Android 5.0 Smartphone For Just $99.99 Unlocked
        * Microsoft Patent Will Stop People From Looking Over Your Shoulder
        * Instagram Begins Sending Out “Highlights” Emails
        * Cortana Correctly Predicts Eurovision Contest Winners
        * Capital Gains: More Stripe Funding, Marc Andreessen’s New Board Seat and More
        * Nuimo Smart Controller Wants To Control Your Life
        * Screenshots Of Google’s Standalone Photo Service Surfaces

        * Quintana finds rough going against Twins
        * White Sox look to turn things around on trip
        * Twins 8, White Sox 1: Lumber slumbers through homestand
        * Quintana finds rough going against Twins
        * Noesi returns to rotation as Sox head to Toronto
        * White Sox still seeking return to norms
        * Entrance Konerko's final nod to fans in exit

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        May 2015
        April 2015
        March 2015
        February 2015
        January 2015
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Illinois electronics recycling bill headed to g.....
        * Democrats Block Real Reform..
        * What Will Drive Illinois to Ask Washington for .....
        * Tom Kacich: Bill killing 50 percent tuition wai.....
        * Deadline for Illinois Budget Approaching..
        * Ideology, not money, holding up state budget deal..


        * The Latest on weather: Tornado warnings for Kansas, Missouri
        * Indiana man wanted on warrants captured after chase
        * Lake Michigan fishing charters hang on despite challenges
        * Officials: $1M spent on medical care for jailed Chicago teen
        * Des Plaines River dams being removed to restore natural flow
        * Vermont hosting Great Lakes scientists at not-so-great lake
        * Authorities search Wisconsin River for Chicago man, 21
        * Man dies after falling off catwalk during Chicago concert
        * Campaign-style tactics fueling Illinois legislative gridlock
        * Cahokia, Lincoln-Way and Illini West win state championships

        * Illinois crib bumper bills stall in Senate
        * Statehouse Insider: Relax, there's a whole week left get it all done
        * Special funds inviting bailout target for Illinois
        * Illinois road construction funds get swept
        * Law fails to stop Illinois schools from fattening pensions
        * Rauner agenda surfaces at Capitol
        * Illinois prisons director resigns 2 months after taking job
        * House Democrats vote down workers comp bill
        * Langfelder talks DNR lake partnership
        * U of I bracing for 'very damaging' cuts, new president says

        * Boeing takes top spot in 2015 largest publicly traded companies list
        * Terminal spending
        * Plenty of rivals are following WeWork into co-working competition
        * How Wal-Mart is hurting Mondelez
        * Why this proposed emergency room annoys the hospital industry


          * 1 dead, 4 wounded in Chicago shootings
          * Tornado watch for north central, northwest Illinois
          * 'No contact' order sought against local radio host
          * Cal City man held on $250K bail after allegedly lunging at cops with knife
          * Man dies following Northwest Side motorcycle crash
          * Evanston man charged with abusing toddler son
          * Feces-covered dogs removed from North Shore home show improvement
          * Boy found in South Shore is reunited with his family
          * 1 dead, 2 hurt after four fire shots into party they were turned away from
          * Man charged with murder in Bridgeport shooting


          * Illinois Supreme Court hears $10B Phillip Morris appeal
          * Sheriff calls on feds to investigate Puerto Rican agencies that send addicts to Chicago
          * Sheriff names clinical psychologist to run Cook County Jail
          * Illinois prisons director resigns 2 months after taking job
          * Obama library foundation raised $5.4 million in 2014
          * Illinois moves to downgrade pot possession to a fine
          * Emanuel calls on Chicagoans to prevent 'lost generation'
          * Grand Jury Indicts 6 Baltimore Officers In Freddie Gray's Death
          * Inauguration Day: New City Council faces serious financial problems
          * Avian flu outbreak takes poultry producers into uncharted territory


          * Bernard Schoenburg: Adam Lopez, Rob Mellon, vie to win Aaron Schock's former U.S. House seat for Democrats
          * Illinois crib bumper bills stall in Senate
          * Statehouse Insider: Relax, there's a whole week left get it all done
          * Statehouse Insider: Relax, there's a whole week left get it all done
          * Our Opinion: Will someone please lead Illinois?
          * Special funds inviting bailout target for Illinois
          * Andy Shaw: Campaign finance in a sorry state
          * Illinois road construction funds get swept
          * Law fails to stop Illinois schools from fattening pensions
          * Proud of WWII service, they opposed Vietnam War


          * Small Beardstown class has a spirit of volunteerism
          * Area 3A, 4A teams receive clean slate
          * Suspect sought after shooting Saturday
          * WHIP cracks key to expansion: New volunteer leaders help pantry expand
          * Walnut Grove continues Heritage Days with undampened enthusiasm
          * Tornado sighted in Illinois City area
          * Upcoming Services
          * Clarissa C. Cook legacy lives on in revamped facility
          * New technology network helps farmers share crop data
          * Tornado watch in effect Sunday night


          * High winds predicted for Memorial Day
          * AP Source: Adrian Peterson tells coach he won't be at OTAs
          * Jeter returns to Yankee Stadium as Williams' No. 51 retired
          * Perry seeks to win over Iowa, a handshake at a time
          * Frias gives up 10 runs in Dodgers' 11-3 loss to Padres

          * Lawmakers Urge Coordination in Pollinator ...
          * Kinzinger: Obama Needs to Lead Against Gro...
          * A political battle over loans to the milit...
          * Divided GOP rejects allowing illegal immig...
          * Durbin backs crackdown on NSA snooping
          * Parents protest gay fairy tale read to Efl...
          * Illinois state senator declares bid for 8t...
          * Memorial Day events in the Heartland 2015
          * Dold hosts veterans in round table discussion
          * John McCain mocks Obama for calling climat...

          * Congress' familiar path: short-term solutions...
          * California congressman’s bill advocates pr......

          * Laura Washington: A crowd gathers to chall......

          * Meet The 20th District Police Commander
          * Bruce Rauner's Secret Government
          * Memorial Day Commemorations In The Area
          * Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Aldermen Cappleman, Osterman, Pawar, Tunney, State Senator Steans and State Representatives Cassidy, Harris, Williams, Commissioner Gainer, Suffredin and County Clerk Orr join to oppose Noble Charter in Rogers Park and Lakevi
          * #BlackTeachersMatter. U.S. Judge Milton Shadur calls CPS response to teachers discrimination lawsuit, “totally irresponsible.”
          * Tax millionaires. Not pensions.
          * Archbishop Oscar Romero.
          * Illinois House won’t tax millionaires, but some still want to tax retired.
          * Sunday posts, pics and tweets.
          * Every Jack Has His Cal


          * The Illinois Department of Public Health Urges Illinoisans to Take Precautions Against West Nile Virus - Illinois Department of Public Health offers tips for avoiding mosquito bites
          * IDOT Suspends Non-Emergency Road Work for Memorial Day Holiday Weekend - Lanes Opened to Improve Traffic Flow
          * Illinois State Fire Marshal Recognizes EMS Week
          * IDOT, ISP: Drive Safe, Drive Smart Over Memorial Day Weekend - Click It or Ticket Campaign Continues, New “Driving Dead” Episode Debuts
          * Breakfast Club Fans Can Take Home Movie Memorabilia with Special 30th Anniversary Auction - Theater Chairs from Set of Iconic Movie Up for Sale




              Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller