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Legislators, governor avoid addressing bill backlog in budget agreement

Thursday, May 31, 2018

* The biggest single problem with this agreed budget, which is the same big problem as Gov. Rauner’s introduced budget, is that it doesn’t appropriate money to pay off overdue bills except for what’s been included for unappropriated spending during the impasse. The current bill backlog is $6.6 billion, but that’s expected to rise.

Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) said last night that the unaddressed backlog issue is her chief regret about the new budget. I’ve yet to see any reporting on this topic.

* I asked Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s spokesperson about this budgetary short-coming…

This consensus budget provides stability. It gives us the tools to manage debt responsibly going forward. Our Debt Transparency Act gave legislators and taxpayers the numbers they needed to craft this budget with a clear picture of the state’s backlog of bills. That backlog as of today stands at $6.6 billion. It will take a long time to reduce that. But a consensus budget like this certainly beats the chaos of the budget impasse in previous years.

Looking on the bright side, I suppose.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - Three Finger Brown - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    6.7 billion is roughly 2 months of payables for IL, which is not an outrageous amount. The problem is IL pays credit card like interest rates for these payables.

    Most states get around this by issuing revenue anticipation notes which carry an interest rate roughly one tenth of what IL pays. I’m pretty sure IL law prohibits the state from doing this, but it might be worth it for Springfield to look in to that.


  2. - Board Watcher - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    I am surprised Mendoza couldn’t find something negative about this budget that she can blame Rauner for..


  3. - No Raise - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    I suppose it’s better to maintain a 6-7 month backlog than the past few years where the unpaid bills exceeded 12-18 months because no budget at all. Maybe after the election this can be addressed more comprehensively.


  4. - Honeybear - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    Has anyone found anything in the budget about paying the 400 million illegally withheld wages for state workers?
    Or was that a concession to Rauner to not include?
    Over 10,000 of that was stolen from me
    It’s wage theft
    400 million in wage theft.
    Afscme won in court
    Was it appropriated?
    Or were newer state workers , like me,
    sold down the river?


  5. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    == I am surprised Mendoza couldn’t find something negative about this budget that she can blame Rauner for. ==

    Why say something negative and give Governor Rauner an excuse to veto?


  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    ===which is not an outrageous amount===

    It’s going back up.


  7. - theq - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:05 pm:

    @ Honeybear… the appropriation for 2011 backpay went through. the comptroller said it would be released asap pending a veto. labor board meets on the 12th so maybe we will learn about steps then


  8. - Honeybear - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:31 pm:

    Thanks Theq- I was aware of that. My point is that I don’t want this to be like the 2011 backpay because it wasn’t appropriated. That 10,000 stolen from me is needed this year. I have a high school senior and tuition at Univ of Washington is 49,986. (She’s going there because of a specific bio-engineering program)
    Money was stolen from me
    I am demanding that it be paid/appropriated


  9. - Anon - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    Prelim session winners and losers. Winner –bi-partisanship. Loser — partisan politics. Ultimate winner — Mike Madigan. He stood his ground and fought Rauner every step of the way. Today, 100 republicans joined with democrats to pass a budget that spends every penny of the tax increase from last year. Ultimate loser — Bruce Rauner. He is failed leadership personified. Listening to all the speeches as this budget is passing, it is obvious what made this year different from the last three, and that is the absence of Bruce Rauner. He made it toxic. He lied constantly, and at the end of the day the process worked in spite of him. he is a failed governor and will be free to spend more time with his family in November.


  10. - Anon - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    obvious typo in my last post. 100 republicans didn’t join with democrats. 100 house members in total voted for the BIMP. Republicans joined democrats for that accomplishment.


  11. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    “I am surprised Mendoza couldn’t find something negative about this budget that she can blame Rauner for..”

    Rauner stayed out of the way, thankfully. At 26% approval, he can’t afford more fiascos. He’s been terrible for the state, and his rigid approach backfired so very badly that no matter his intent, he can’t ignore it.

    I want to see the progressive income tax pushed hard, for more revenue. Pritzker and Democrats have Rauner and Republicans set up to be cornered on the issue (in their utter refusal to support it). I ask that the plan is crafted as a tax cut for the vast majority and an effort to sell it to Republicans, and everyone, as a tax cut.


  12. - SAP - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    Pretty fancy way of saying “We’re kicking the can down the road, but at least the can is smaller than usual”.


  13. - Kira - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 1:37 pm:

    Honeybear- the union once again put the seniority workers needs first and pushed the newer workers needs to the back burner. Just wait to the Supreme Court ruling, the union will forget about those wage freezes and potential back pay because all of there resources will go towards that. You might get it by 2022- no interest though.


  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 31, 18 @ 6:56 pm:

    –I am surprised Mendoza couldn’t find something negative about this budget that she can blame Rauner for..–

    Rauner doesn’t need your help to play the whiny victim. He’s got that down cold.


  15. - Honeybear - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 6:58 am:

    Kira, I totally disagree. I know personally how hard council has worked to secure the steps. I’m not worried at all about AFSCME. I’m worried about being stabbed in the back by the legislature.


  16. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jun 1, 18 @ 7:32 am:

    ==Board Watcher Thursday May 31,2018@ 2:24 pm (referring to the Loncar press release)How long before Mendoza does a press release saying that Rauner put her up to this?

    Board Watcher Thursday May 31, 2018 @ 11:41 am I am surprised Mendoza couldn’t find something negative about this budget that she can blame Rauner for..==

    What is this strange obsession you have with Mendoza about?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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