* I’m not sure who’s telling the truth here (although I have my suspicions), but it looks like the governor’s people are more than hinting that Comptroller Hynes is trying to force a budget crisis. On the other hand, it might be assumed that the governor’s office is keeping the squeeze on Medicaid providers in order to prod them into backing his GRT plan, which would provide lots of cashola.
The Blagojevich administration missed a chance to pay $650 million in Medicaid bills in early April, despite a suggestion to act from Comptroller Dan Hynes’ office, the agency said Tuesday.
However, the governor’s office said the plan outlined by Hynes’ staff would have left the state short of money to pay Medicaid bills through the rest of the budget year, which ends June 30. […]
On April 4, Hynes’ chief of staff, Keith Taylor, sent a letter to Barry Maram, director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. In it, Taylor said the comptroller’s office had an opportunity to pay $650 million in Medicaid bills if the department would forward the invoices for payment. […]
[Yesterday, Taylor sent a follow-up letter] “The Office of Comptroller is extremely disappointed that your department failed to respond to our letter of 4/4/07 . . .” Taylor wrote. “Given the fact that you held and continue to hold an additional $1 billion in Medicaid bills, we find your lack of action or even an official reply to our April 4 communication inexplicable.”
Knowles said the payment plan relied on money borrowed short term to kick-start an assessment program that taxes hospitals to obtain additional federal money to treat Medicaid patients. However, the legislature still hasn’t approved a supplemental spending bill needed to fully implement the hospital assessment program.
* The irrepressible Ralph Martire is at it again…
The man behind the so-called tax-swap proposal to fund Illinois schools said Tuesday night that McHenry County state legislators were acting neither fairly nor morally in rejecting his measure.
Ralph Martire, the executive director of the bipartisan organization Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, outlined House Bill 750 at District 300â€™s Community Finance Committee meeting Tuesday, which drew officials from neighboring districts to hear the school funding expert speak. […]
â€œWe need to stop being cafeteria capitalists and start reading Adam Smith [widely considered the father of modern economics] again,â€ Martire said Tuesday. â€œ[These legislators] are frankly ignoring the issue. … Of course rich people should be paying more in taxes than they get back.â€
* Martire’s board of directors
* Professor: Gross receipts tax will not fix state budget problem
* Scholar borrows a pension solution
* Chambers fight gross receipts tax