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“Best case scenario” is a big August crisis

Saturday, Jun 24, 2017

* Vinicky

An updated “doomsday” picture offered by Comptroller Susana Mendoza warns that without a budget in place soon, come August she won’t be able to write checks to pay for the most basic of services, including state employee payroll, school funding and requirement debt service.

Illinois is already $15 billion behind on paying its bills, as payments for other services have been pushed aside for those and other core priorities as established by law and court orders.

“This has never happened before,” Mendoza said Friday after she privately briefed legislators on the scenario. “The situation couldn’t be more critical.”

* Finke

[Comptroller Susana Mendoza] said Friday that in a “best-case scenario,” the state will fall $185 million short of what it needs to meet payments required by various court orders, consent decrees and state laws that have been responsible for the state to continue paying some bills in the absence of a full state budget [in August].

“We will no longer be able to fully comply with all of the court orders that determine payments in our core priority sectors,” Mendoza said. “This has never happened before.” […]

“In August, I will have zero flexibility,” Mendoza said. “I guarantee you nursing homes will close. I won’t be able to help them. I won’t even have enough money to make the core priorities that are mandated by the courts.”

Courts have ordered continued payments for some human services programs and for the state employee payroll. State law requires payments to pension systems and debt service. The state has also managed to keep current with state aid payments to schools, although reimbursements for things like transportation costs have fallen behind.

However, Mendoza said that in August, if nothing is done to resolve the budget stalemate, even school aid payments could be in jeopardy, not to mention what might happen if the state can’t make payments decreed by the courts.

* Mendoza distributed this to House Democrats yesterday. That squiggly red line represents mandated core expenditures…

Click here for the full handout. Mendoza also gave it to Leader Durkin.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments
  1. - Pelonski - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    I wonder what takes precedent, court order or state law? I assume the federal court orders have priority, but what about state court orders? If they have precedence, it looks like pensions, debt payments, tax refunds, and similar continuing appropriations are the things that are going to miss payments.


  2. - Chicago Cynic - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    These are devastating charts. And while it’s just math, I wonder how Munger would have been trying to cover for her boss had she remained in that job.


  3. - DuPage Saint - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    I wonder if Rauner would let it play out? No budget going into next election; house and senate stay Democrat and Rauner wins a second term. Unless the representatives and senators grow a spine or a Federal court takes over I think the state is in for a world of hurt


  4. - cdog - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    I get it and it’s sick. Mendoza and team are doing good by sounding the alarm.

    Minor observation — why would she just provide this to Democrats and Durkin?

    She is an elected state-wide officer with duties to constituents of both parties?

    I hope this is not an indication that there are other purposely partisan behaviors in a not-so-partisan office.


  5. - wordslinger - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    –“Best case scenario” is a big August crisis–

    Most twisted and true Cap Fax headline ever?


  6. - Anonymous - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    WHO’s in charge here? Where does the buck stop? Where’s the concern for the citizens that that person —– one and only one person—was elected to look after?


  7. - Leatherneck - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 4:10 pm:

    Does this assume that Medicaid reimbursements will take first priority in the payment line after the recent federal court rulings (and the state needing to come up with a payment plan)?


  8. - JoeMaddon - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 5:18 pm:

    **
    Minor observation — why would she just provide this to Democrats and Durkin?

    She is an elected state-wide officer with duties to constituents of both parties?

    I hope this is not an indication that there are other purposely partisan behaviors in a not-so-partisan office.**

    She has not been invited. You cannot just show up to a caucus and present. You have to be invited. The HDEMs invited Comptroller Mendoza. No other caucus has.


  9. - cdog - Saturday, Jun 24, 17 @ 9:37 pm:

    JM, that makes sense. Thanks.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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