* Capitol News Illinois…
The Illinois comptroller’s office borrowed $105 million from various funds in March, in large part so it could make bigger-than-normal payments to hospitals as they brace for the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak later this month.
But Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is advising all state vendors that there will likely be payment delays in April, in part because the tax filing deadline for both state and federal taxes has been pushed back to July 15.
The inter-fund borrowing was noted last week in the state’s monthly revenue report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. The comptroller’s office has authority to engage in such borrowing to meet short-term cash flow needs of the general revenue fund.
That report noted that total tax receipts in March, at $3.4 billion, was about what was expected, and 3.3 percent above the same month last year. But it also noted that the impact of the economic slowdown brought on by Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order and closure of nonessential businesses had not yet shown up in the revenue numbers.
Some of that borrowed money was used to capture federal matches and contributed to a $145 million increase in federal revenue in March, according to COGFA.
* Excerpt from Mendoza’s statement issued last week…
State revenues, estimated at well over $1 billion, traditionally expected in the month of April due to increased seasonal income tax payment activity, will be delayed until at least July, given the extended tax payment deadlines announced by both the state and federal governments.
In addition to the deferred revenues from the filing extension, it has not yet been determined what additional negative fiscal impact reduced economic activity related to this pandemic will have on our state revenues going forward.
The most immediate priority today, and in the coming weeks, will be emergency funding for critical medical equipment and services necessary to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus on the front lines. While our immediate priority is to provide funding necessary to fight the pandemic and save lives, the core priorities of the IOC remain the same.
Healthcare, debt service, K-12 funding, state payrolls, and required pension payments will continue to be made, and the state’s most vulnerable citizens’ urgent needs will continue to be served.
As in past times of budgetary difficulties, the predictability and the timing of specific payments may be uncertain, but the provider and vendor community can be assured that, as in the past, all state payments will eventually be made, and all state commitments will be honored.
Given this reality, the IOC asks for understanding and patience as we address the impact from this pandemic, while continuing to manage an existing state bill backlog of over $7 billion.
The latest bill backlog number is $8.096 billion.