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*** UPDATED 3x *** Rauner claims unpaid bills at $10B when he took office

Friday, Jun 15, 2018

By Hannah Meisel

* Gov. Rauner was in Moline yesterday addressing a Western Illinois University crowd at its Quad Cities campus. It was a pretty standard speech — basically the same one he’s been giving since he signed the budget last week about how it’s a good start but if only the General Assembly had enacted his proposed budget, the state would have a $1.5 billion surplus.

Anyway, at one point the governor said that when he came into office, the state’s backlog of bills was sitting at $10 billion.

“People tell me this is the most balanced budget in 15 years. I don’t know, but I know we’ve had unbalanced budgets for years. We’ve been running deficits for years. It’s the reason we have such big debt, unfunded pensions. There was almost $10 billion of unpaid bills when I became governor. We’ve had financial mismanagement in this state for a long time.”

* Thing is, the bill backlog was actually $6.5 billion in January of 2015 when Rauner took office. I know because I’ve been looking at this chart all morning for another story…

(sorry friends, cannot for the life of me figure out how to import an image and I’d rather spend more time reporting than figuring out HTML’s quirks…just click here.)

If you don’t trust Comptroller Mendoza’s accounting, here is the last backlog number tweeted from Judy Baar Topinka’s official comptroller account and the first backlog number tweeted from Leslie Munger’s official comptroller account.


…Update…
* Response from Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold:

“Between the runup to the Governor’s formal announcement, until the time when he actually took office, the bill backlog hit $8.9 billion, which is nearly $10 billion in my book.”

…Adding…

* Here’s what the Rauner campaign is promoting from that stop yesterday: a Dispatch-Argus story headlined “Rauner touts higher education money during WIU-QC visit”

*** 2:51 p.m. *** - (Added by Barton)….Charlie Wheeler in comments…

Points of Information re balanced budgets

“People tell me this is the most balanced budget in 15 years. I don’t know, but I know we’ve had unbalanced budgets for years. We’ve been running deficits for years. It’s the reason we have such big debt, unfunded pensions. There was almost $10 billion of unpaid bills when I became governor. We’ve had financial mismanagement in this state for a long time.”

Gov. Rauner. June 15, 2018

The actual record:

Illinois last ended its fiscal year with a general funds budgetary surplus (GF available balance > lapse period spending) in FY2001, when the AB was greater than LPS by some $300 million.

As measured by declining GF budgetary deficits, however, Illinois last had a balanced budget (current year spending less than current year revenues) in FY2015, when the deficit declined by slightly more than $1 billion.

Starting with FY2002, Gov. Ryan’s next-to-last last budget, through FY2015, Gov. Quinn’s last budget, the GF budgetary deficit improved in eight of 14 years, meaning spending was less than revenues in each of those years.

Sources: Illinois Comptroller Reports, Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

Charlie Wheeler

*** 4:11 p.m. *** Comptroller Mendoza’s office wanted to respond to the post. Here’s her statement…

“The backlog number the Governor’s office appears to be citing is from 2013. When Governor Rauner took office two years later, the bill backlog was just over $6.5 billion. When the budget enacted by his predecessor expired, the backlog was down to $5.03 billion. That number more than tripled on Governor Rauner’s watch, hitting a record high of $16.675 billion. The numbers don’t lie.”

- Posted by Hannah Meisel        

35 Comments
  1. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:29 pm:

    Our Governor lied again?
    Say it aint so Rich…..


  2. - Omay - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    Someone is full of shaving cream…


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:32 pm:

    Rauner is unlikable.

    A reason he’s unlikable is yiu can’t trust anything he says, especially when facts refute his words easily.

    Lemme guess… Comptroller Topinka was mistaken and Comptroller Munger was wrong?

    It’s a (redacted) ledger. It’s not wrong. It’s what’s owed.


  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:34 pm:

    I’m sure he’ll claim it’s standard to round up.


  5. - MOON - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    Could Rauner be including the unfunded portion of pensions to arrive at that 10 billion dollar number?


  6. - Madamw Defarge - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:41 pm:

    I was because of floods on the Mississippi, tornadoes and LOCUST


  7. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:43 pm:

    You put Bruce Rauner in front of a microphone and he either dodges questions or tells lies. I’ve watched him do this since he has arrived on the political scene. No one should be too surprised by this.


  8. - Flynn's Mom - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    It’s just another “pants on fire” moment for Rauner.


  9. - Pundent - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    Rauner has gone into full Trump mode. He believes he can lie with impunity and won’t be called out on it.


  10. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 1:53 pm:

    @MOON:(1) who knows what he was thinking; why don’t you ask him?
    (2) The unfunded pension debt, all by itself, is north of $10 million, so if that was his intent and if his math were accurate, he’d've given a different number.
    (3) He’s a big boy and can amswer questions himself. See (1) above.


  11. - MOON - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    ANON…1:53 PM

    Arrange a meeting for me with Rauner and I will ask him.


  12. - walker - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:02 pm:

    In four years, I have never heard Rauner state an accurate fiscal number. His goal appears to be creating political images, not reporting facts. Perhaps he has been too removed from such details to know them.


  13. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    This ties to the lie about “No balanced budget in 15 years “

    Interviewers need to call him on these. But they won’t.


  14. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    Lies work for Trump, Rauner figures they’ll work for him too.


  15. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    ===“Rauner touts higher education money during WIU-QC visit”===

    The sad thing is, people will buy this. Some will believe him on the bill backlog. People who are that gullible and ignorant of what he’s been doing for 3.5 years deserve to have him as governor.


  16. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    I am not trying to be snarky and this is serious: do you think he knows these things he says are not true?


  17. - Pundent - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    =Perhaps he has been too removed from such details to know them.=

    Highly doubtful. The role of the governors staff is to ensure that he has accurate details. And if they were consistently feeding him inaccurate information they’d be fired for not doing their jobs. Rauner’s actions and deceit are deliberate. The behavior has become so common that interviewers don’t even bother to call him out on it. And in the age of the “media is the enemy” they run the risk of being cast as having an agenda.


  18. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    Bruce’s adage: “there’s lies, damn lies and. … ..I use ‘em…all”


  19. - JS Mill - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    He sounds more and more like Trump everyday.

    Maybe he is adding in Sweden’s backlog too?


  20. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    === ===“Rauner touts higher education money during WIU-QC visit”===

    The sad thing is, people will buy this. Some will believe him on the bill backlog.===

    My “favorite” is the downstate legislators that vote against higher education in the 99th GA, then weren’t with the override last year for higher ed, but tout how they too, like Rauner, support higher ed.

    One thinks it’s so Normal, on the twitter it’s Stated a teaching spot at a university.

    Can’t make this up.


  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    They are going with the round up lol. What’s $1.1 billion after all? Pocket change. Kinda like ignoring all the dead veterans because it’s politically inconvenient.


  22. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    ===which is nearly $10 billion in my book.===

    Wonder what “inherited” means in her book. Did she graduate from the Sarah Huckabee Sanders school of spokes-hackery?


  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    ===“…, the bill backlog hit $8.9 billion, which is nearly $10 billion in my book.”===

    LOL

    Tell that to an accountant.


  24. - Skeptic - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    “Sarah Huckabee Sanders school of spokes-hackery?” “Those are alternative dollars.”


  25. - charlie wheeler - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    Points of Information re balanced budgets

    “People tell me this is the most balanced budget in 15 years. I don’t know, but I know we’ve had unbalanced budgets for years. We’ve been running deficits for years. It’s the reason we have such big debt, unfunded pensions. There was almost $10 billion of unpaid bills when I became governor. We’ve had financial mismanagement in this state for a long time.”

    Gov. Rauner. June 15, 2018

    The actual record:

    Illinois last ended its fiscal year with a general funds budgetary surplus (GF available balance > lapse period spending) in FY2001, when the AB was greater than LPS by some $300 million.

    As measured by declining GF budgetary deficits, however, Illinois last had a balanced budget (current year spending less than current year revenues) in FY2015, when the deficit declined by slightly more than $1 billion.

    Starting with FY2002, Gov. Ryan’s next-to-last last budget, through FY2015, Gov. Quinn’s last budget, the GF budgetary deficit improved in eight of 14 years, meaning spending was less than revenues in each of those years.

    Sources: Illinois Comptroller Reports, Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

    Charlie Wheeler


  26. - Sonny - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    A billion here a billion there. Are they even trying anymore?


  27. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    “220, 221… whatever it takes”

    - Rauner Crew response.


  28. - Dee Lay - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    Hannah - I hope you replied you are still waiting on an answer to the question.

    “There was almost $10 billion of unpaid bills when I became governor.” is not “Between the runup to the Governor’s formal announcement, until the time when he actually took office,…”
    Plus, $8.9 is only $1.1 billion off, which is…..substantial.

    I’d ask if she had any shame for lying this openly, but why bother when facts don’t mean anything anymore.

    So Rachel, here’s a song to start your weekend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJGFQ7O9h-M


  29. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 3:00 pm:

    C’mon folks, he’s a salesman, not an analyst.


  30. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    Once again the Governor is proven to be fibbing. His claim is easily debunked. And yet they continue to say it’s true. Unbelievable.


  31. - JS Mill - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    So Ms Bold, if we were to use your math (Disputed by the governors then Comptroller/Wingman and current Ghost payroller Leslie Munger) your margin for error is plus or minus 11%?

    Anyone golfing with her should watch the scorecard carefully.


  32. - I Miss Bentohs - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    “I am not trying to be snarky and this is serious: do you think he knows these things he says are not true?”

    The odd answer is yes and no. He is delivered information from several people/sources. Then, when he sees/hears something that he likes, he repeats it. So, no, in his mind he is repeating a fact but to those of us who understand truth, we decided we cannot work with/for him anymore as we know the answer is yes.


  33. - Langhorne - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    Where is patty schuh?


  34. - Leigh John-Ella - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    What’s $1.1 billion among friends.
    I mean it’s not like the governor has ever vetoed a budget and plunged the state into an impasse over numbers like that.


  35. - Rabid - Friday, Jun 15, 18 @ 4:31 pm:

    Rauner tell a lie and the staff swears to it $1.100,000,000 off when it’s really 11.665,000,000 off


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* *** UPDATED x2 - White responds *** Democrats, activists say Jesse White "failed" to implement AVR
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* All heat, no light
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

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