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Comptroller says state ends fiscal year with a GRF bill payment cycle of zero days

Friday, Jul 1, 2022

* Comptroller Mendoza’s office…

Marking an end to Fiscal Year 2022 on June 30, Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza is pleased to report good news on Illinois’ fiscal recovery since fighting through a state budget impasse and a global pandemic.

The state fiscal year ended with a General Funds accounts payable balance of $1.8 billion for the first time in more than a decade – and a General Revenue Funds payment cycle of ZERO days for the first time in decades. This means the office is caught up on all bills related to Medicaid, the state’s Group Health Insurance program, K-12 schools, higher education and other government operations and programs.

With the payment cycle down to ZERO days, it means the office was able to pay the Mandated Categorical Grants (MCAT) for K-12 schools on the very day they were due at the end of the fourth quarter. This is a far cry from when Comptroller Mendoza first took office in 2016, inheriting a General Revenue Funds average payment delay of 210 business days and an MCAT delay of more than six months. Today, K-12 schools don’t even wait one day.

On July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year, the Illinois Office of Comptroller (IOC) is paying the remaining $200 million of the $500 million in additional funds earmarked for the five state pension funds to lower long-term pension liabilities by $1.8 billion.

Over the past year, the IOC paid off the $2 billion owed to the Federal Reserve two years early, saving $82 million in interest, paid off $928 million owed to other state funds and paid off $900 million owed to Group Health Insurance bills.

After decades of consecutive downgrades, Illinois earned six credit rating upgrades in the past year, and delivered stability and predictability to our state vendors and providers that they hadn’t seen in years. This action has been most meaningful to our health-care industry partners, educators and small businesses who bore the brunt of the ongoing pandemic and the effects of the 2015-2017 budget impasse.

Most importantly, the state’s bill backlog was eliminated, paid down to $3 billion a year ago, without using any American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal stimulus dollars, and is now an accounts payable of $1.8 billion today with a payment cycle of ZERO days.

Yesterday, the Comptroller joined Governor J.B. Pritzker and legislative leaders showcasing Illinois’ recovery and returning $1.8 billion in relief to taxpayers to help them as they face record levels of inflation and rising gas prices.

“This tax relief is possible because we’ve balanced our state budgets, eliminated our bill backlog and are paying our bills on time. We are saving money for a rainy day and working to better stabilize our pension liability. We’ve worked very hard to put Illinois on much stronger financial footing, allowing us to provide this tax relief to Illinois working families and individuals when they need it most,” Comptroller Mendoza said.

Later this year, Comptroller Mendoza’s office is prepared to process the $1.1 billion in property tax and income tax rebates administered by the Department of Revenue beginning the week of September 12.

Today’s fiscal report means that Illinois is better poised to face upcoming challenges to state finances as the nation experiences record levels of inflation.

The Comptroller and her office faced great uncertainty when she came into office in 2016 during the worst budget impasse in the state’s history, with a bill backlog nearing $17 billion, followed by a global pandemic impacting state revenues throughout the country two years later.

“I’m battle-tested and have proven my ability to successfully navigate us through these fiscal crises, and I have worked hard to prepare and get us to this level of financial stability so we can better address challenges that may come our way,” said Comptroller Mendoza.

“The fact that we’ll have a billion dollars saved in our Rainy Day Fund to help us during adverse downturns certainly helps, but Illinois must save more when we are able to with stronger-than-expected revenue receipts so that we strengthen our ability to weather through these unexpected crises.”

Comptroller Mendoza has proposed legislation, HB 4118, sponsored by State Representative Michael Halpin, to lessen this uncertainty by fortifying the state’s Rainy Day Fund and the state’s Pension Stabilization Fund, implementing automatic triggers for future deposits into both funds. With additional savings, the state will be able to better prepare to weather the uncertainty of potential fiscal downturns.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

42 Comments
  1. - Lost in Shawnee - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:00 am:

    Adults in charge.


  2. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:10 am:

    Pro-business.


  3. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:15 am:

    Seriously, no one in private business does this. How about we shoot for a net 30 cycle?


  4. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:16 am:

    “This is a far cry from when Comptroller Mendoza first took office in 2016”

    No joke. That fiscal wreckage was caused deliberately by the spelunker set. Load it with debt and let it implode, the Katrina hurricane of breaking and remaking the state.


  5. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:21 am:

    Pro business, adults in charge?

    What is the deficit in the unemployment trust fund that business will now have to pay through increased unemployment taxes?

    1.8 billion dollars not quite the 1.9 billion that Illinois paid out to fraudulent unemployment claims

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-pandemic-unemployment-fraud-audit-20220616-jxw5fgmofzb7vpwjybyl72khjy-story.html


  6. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:26 am:

    =What is the deficit in the unemployment trust fund that business will now have to pay through increased unemployment taxes?=

    This is why you are so often regarded as a joke. No one ios stating that the state is “fixed”. But we are happy with the significant improvement.

    And if you are not smart enough to see how the improved pay cycle is pro business (especially for someone who constantly whines about the business climate in Illinois) then you really need to stay out of the sun.

    But we get it, democrats bad no matter what, republicans good no matter what.

    That is why you are not taken seriously.

    =1.8 billion dollars not quite the 1.9 billion that Illinois paid out to fraudulent unemployment claims=

    A national issue that started with your favorite dictator wannabe’s administration.


  7. - Lost in Shawnee - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:26 am:

    LP belly aching about bills being paid immediately.

    Boy, you give one note songs a bad name.


  8. - Pundent - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:27 am:

    Seeing a functioning controllers office almost makes you forget about those that willfully drove the state into a ditch and those that cheered the effort - almost.


  9. - Captain Obvious - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:30 am:

    So the state is paying what it is supposed to pay on time. They have met expectations. Which sadly passes for excellent and unexpected performance in Illinois.


  10. - H-W - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:31 am:

    Excellent news. Now, keep paying down debts. Raise more revenues than your obligations demand, so as to pay down debts. That, LP, is what a good business practice looks like. Catching up, and paying down.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:31 am:

    - Lucky Pierre - cheered daily when Illinois had no budget AND Rauner ran up bills and purposely hurt social services for leverage.

    - Lucky Pierre - is, here, the very *last* person to be credible on the fiscal aspect of bills, or paying bills on time.


  12. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:31 am:

    ===Which sadly passes for excellent and unexpected performance in Illinois. ===

    Yes, the past is sad. Very sad.


  13. - Derek Smalls - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:34 am:

    The contrast of the state’s fiscal situation under Rauner versus under JB is jaw dropping. I tip my hat to JB, Mendoza and all the fiscal staffers.


  14. - Back to the Future - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:35 am:

    Always happy to hear good news.


  15. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    Most people do not realize the dramatic improvement in the State’s finances under JB. It’s important to get that message out…


  16. - BTO2 - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    I believed the fiscal mess of the past would continue, it’s been pretty amazing to see the good results.


  17. - Leap Day William - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:40 am:

    == What is the deficit in the unemployment trust fund that business will now have to pay through increased unemployment taxes? ==

    Do you work for the Chicago Bears grounds crew? Because this is some professional-grade goalpost moving.

    Seriously, though, this is some amazing work and in my 20+ years of paying attention to state government I’ve never seen Illinois make this level of progress toward fiscal stability and preparing for the long term.


  18. - Big Dipper - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:40 am:

    Whataboutism is all LP has at this point.


  19. - Glengarry - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:40 am:

    Fiscal sanity has finally prevailed.


  20. - Pundent - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:43 am:

    =So the state is paying what it is supposed to pay on time. They have met expectations.=

    Depends on who you ask. A lot of folks, not saying you, saw that not paying our bills was a necessary part of achieving “reforms” and a “turnaround agenda.” Whether it hurt businesses, non-profits, or our bond rating, it was necessary. The current Governor and Comptroller didn’t buy into that approach. And many of us are grateful that we can now meet expectations.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:48 am:

    I dunno…

    If the phony folks who make a bond rating a thing on everything but the factual aspects of bonds… they see paying bills on time as a “big thing”

    Multiple upgrades tell me so.


  22. - Arsenal - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 9:52 am:

    ==Pro business, adults in charge?==

    Correct. I get that you don’t understand this, because you declared victory for a candidate before half a million votes were counted and thought 0 was 5, but businesses *really* like to be paid on time.


  23. - H-W - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:00 am:

    == “turnaround agenda.” Whether it hurt businesses, non-profits, or our bond rating, it was necessary. ==

    Hurt? Hurt? How about crippled local economies, laid off thousands of workers - both public and private, and caused business to leave due to the need to fix that mess.

    It is nuts to suggest Rauner’s “turnaround” agenda (which was not actually was implemented) somehow improved things. And to suggest that by not passing a budget and thus using “discretion” to spend willy-nilly, the previous administration made things better or that their refusal to use a budget was necessary. It would be like saying Pritzker owes a great debt of gratitude to Rauner for making Pritzker’s job so much easier.


  24. - Arsenal - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    ==1.8 billion dollars not quite the 1.9 billion that Illinois paid out to fraudulent unemployment claims ==

    What point do you think you’re making here? The $1.8B is not savings or credits or revenue in the state account. It’s still money that the state will pay, it’s just the lowest amount that it has been in quite a while. And the $1.9B was federal money, not state.


  25. - Baloneymous - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    Lucky Pierre loving that $17 billion backlog and thinks today’s news is horrible. Upside down dude.


  26. - JS Mill - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:01 am:

    =Which sadly passes for excellent and unexpected performance in Illinois.=

    Actually, the industry standard for accounts payable is 30-90 days depending. So zero days exceeds the standard and actually is excellent and unexpected. 5-8 years ago it was unheard of.

    What has changed since then? Hmmmm…


  27. - walker - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:02 am:

    Cap Obvious: Since the biggest private sector companies pay their suppliers at 30-60 days, the state is outperforming that expectation, to better support Illinois businesses.


  28. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:03 am:

    Pro business would be using surplus tax revenue to fill the trust fund which will help stabilize business and allow them to invent for the long term to hire more workers instead of spending it on election year gimmicks


  29. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:07 am:

    -Lucky Pierre
    My suggestion - stop arguing a point that you’ve already lost. This one is a loser for you…


  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:08 am:

    ===be using surplus tax revenue===

    You harp constantly that Illinois continues to *not* have balanced budgets.

    Here you complain about surplus tax revenue.

    Can’t be both.

    Time for a reboot.

    Maybe over the holiday weekend. Turn off, count to 10, then turn back on again. Let us know how that works out.


  31. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:22 am:

    “Pro business would be using surplus tax revenue to fill the trust fund which will help stabilize business”

    If that happens in the next couple years, it still won’t satisfy you.


  32. - Arsenal - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:22 am:

    How is paying our bills on time an “election year gimmick”?


  33. - Arsenal - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:24 am:

    == using surplus tax revenue to fill the trust fund which will help stabilize business and allow them to invent for the long term to hire more workers instead of spending it on election year gimmicks==

    So more government hand outs to big business and less tax relief to regular Illinoisans?

    Man, Rauner fooled you good.


  34. - Friendly Bob Adams - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    It never fails. There’s always some people who can’t stand good news.

    The rest of us say “keep up the good work”…


  35. - DuPage - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    Dear comptroller Mendoza, is the 18-month overdue
    SERS and SURS dental insurance included in the items caught up on?


  36. - One Trick Pony - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 11:17 am:

    Comptroller Mendoza and her staff have done a great job of managing the State bills. Anyone who argues otherwise is refusing to come to terms with where the State was when she took over. The Governor’s Office has also tried to be strategic about spending. How about another upgrade from the bond rating agency’s?


  37. - Barrington - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 11:24 am:

    Dear DuPage,
    My most recent dental insurance claim paid to dentist in 35 days, which is probably the normal insurance processing time. The 18 month timeline has not been seen since, well Rauner.


  38. - Barrington - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 11:29 am:

    Mendoza and the Prizker administration should be recognized for their fiscal accomplishments.


  39. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 12:04 pm:

    Its just nowhere near the same state it was in 2016.

    Its really something what can happen when serious people are in charge and choose to lead.


  40. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 1:16 pm:

    But how can things be this good with the Unions still in existence? I thought they were the root of most of our problems? Lol


  41. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    DuPage, if you are waiting 18 months for a Delta Dental reimbursement, I think you forgot to submit the paperwork or your dentist is pulling a fast one on you. The longest wait on those is currently 25 days:

    https://www2.illinois.gov/cms/benefits/StateEmployee/Pages/QCHPQCDPClaimPaymentDelay.aspx


  42. - Proud Papa Bear - Friday, Jul 1, 22 @ 2:31 pm:

    It’s not a sexy hot-button topic among most, but this is truly the hallmark of good governance.


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