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Early afternoon roundup

Monday, Apr 24, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

…Adding… From the comptroller’s office…

Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza announced Monday that Illinois’ total General Funds accounts payable has been paid down to less than $1 billion for the first time in 15 years.

April is generally the state’s best month fiscally as residents and businesses pay taxes. As of Monday morning, the accounts payable stood at $941 million, the lowest it has been since August 2008.

“Over the 6½ years I have been Comptroller, I have looked for every opportunity to steadily pay the state’s unpaid bills from a high of $16.7 billion – as a result of the budget impasse under a former governor – to where we have been for the past year, which has been generally less than $3 billion,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “That included refinancing some debt at a much lower interest rate and seeking out every opportunity for federal matching funds the state used to leave on the table.”

The steady repayment brought the state’s backlog of bills down to around $3 billion before a penny of the federal ARPA stimulus dollars landed in state coffers. The stimulus dollars went to pay the state’s COVID-related expenses, all of which can be tracked on the Comptroller’s website.

“During the impasse, state vendors often had to wait 210 business days to get paid,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “Today, my oldest bill is 16 days old. The state of Illinois is paying faster than the private sector. We’ve been on this shortened payment cycle for more than two years now, proving that Illinois is on a strong path to fiscal stability and predictability.”

* Bond Buyer

Illinois navigated a rocky market to clear its $2.5 billion general obligation sale Wednesday, paying more on the shorter end than its bonds have been trading, but seeing healthy demand on the long end for the newly stamped-A level rated paper.

The mostly tax-exempt transaction took center stage this week amid a total of $11.5 billion of supply. The state received nearly $12 billion of orders on the sale from more than 130 investors including retail buyers, which the state attributed to being “a direct benefit of stronger ratings in the A category,” Paul Chatalas, capital markets director, said in a statement.

Market participants said the oversubscription came on the long end, which was reflected in the repricing to lower yields there in the final pricing scale. Some earlier maturities struggled and additional concessions were needed, reflecting the market’s current appetites and a correction that’s hammered the front end.

I need to find an AI translator to help me figure out what these stories actually mean. /s

* Good news…

* Missouri political analyst John Hancock on St. Louis’ Fox 2 regarding JB Pritzker and the presidency

I’ll tell you what he would do from a historical standpoint. He would give William Howard Taft a run for his money.

That comment is basically one step above a common Twitter troll. Difference is, common Twitter trolls don’t get paid for their opinions.

* ComEd Four prosecutor…

But it did continue and Dominguez was never indicted.

* Weighted vote (added back after I cleared up some confusion)…

* Good news at NEIU…

The following is a joint statement from the Northeastern Illinois University Board of Trustees Chairman Jose Rico, Northeastern Illinois University President Gloria J. Gibson, and NEIU UPI President Nancy Matthews, Ph.D.

After a productive bargaining session today, we are pleased to announce that the university has reached a tentative agreement with the faculty union, UPI Local 4100. The union’s members will vote on ratification of the tentative agreement in the coming days, after which further details will be available.

* Press release…

State Rep. Sonya M. Harper, D-Chicago, is inviting citizens and stakeholders alike to the first Illinois Black Farmers & Growers Lobby Day, at the Illinois State Capitol, Wednesday, April 26 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Agriculture is Illinois’ largest industry, and no state has a larger percentage of its land area under cultivation than we do,” Harper said. “And yet, we’ve continued to see that this industry faces widespread inequality in terms of access as well as outcomes for those members of minority communities who are a part of it. That has to change, and that’s why I’m leading the push for new policies aimed at promoting equity in agriculture.”

Throughout her career before and since becoming a legislator, Harper has been one of the strongest proponents in the state for policies to promote equitable and expanded access to healthy foods and for equity in the food and agricultural supply chain.

Wednesday’s event will include breakfast, a meet and greet as well as a press conference. Sponsors include the Black Oaks Center, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Growing Home, Grow Greater Englewood, Urban Growers Collective, Green Era Campus, Cannabis Equity Illinois, Mia’s Heart Hemp Life and State Innovation Exchange. Lt. Governor Julianna Stratton and Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Jerry Costello II are also expected to attend.

* Press release…

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias released his First 100 Days report today, highlighting his administration’s accomplishments since taking office in January.

The 16-page report reflects how the new Secretary has pursued an aggressive agenda to improve customer service, enhance services, protect consumers, and upgrade technology.

From implementing a comprehensive Executive Ethics Order on Day One to finding ways to reduce the Time Tax, which decreases the time spent waiting for government services, and from moving to overhaul the office’s archaic technology systems to pushing an aggressive legislative agenda, Giannoulias’ team has made significant strides to improve the lives of Illinois residents.

Click here for the list.

* I wrote up a piece for subscribers this morning on the Vallas lawsuit after spending part of the weekend kicking over rocks. When I finished, I realized I just didn’t care that much. But I do expect more fireworks in the future…

* Elon’s deliberate chaos has ensnared at least one Illinoisan…

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Center Square | Lawmakers could take ‘master class’ on corruption with ‘ComEd 4’ closing arguments set: State Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, said some changes he sees arising out of the trial is closing lobbying loopholes, making better disclosure on the origins of legislation, bringing reforms to how bills move out of committees, and how witness slips are managed.

    * Scott Holland | Is it ever possible to simplify dozens of tax streams?: As of last Aug. 1 the share is 6.16% from individual, trust and estate income taxes and 6.85% of net collections of corporate income tax. CNI said each percentage point increase would divert about $250 million into the LGDF.

    * Daily Herald | Arroyo, former jockey and steward, joins Illinois Racing Board: Arroyo was the senior state steward who judged races at Chicago-area tracks for decades, in a career that began in 1965 at age 21 as a groom, hot-walker and exercise boy at Sportsman’s Park. He started as a jockey the next year and competed in the Midwest, East Coast and Florida circuits until 1978.

    * Crain’s | Longtime Evanston Hospital leader to retire: Evanston Hospital President Doug Silverstein will retire at the end of 2023 after a long career in Chicago and the hospitals that make up NorthShore University Health System. Silverstein, 65, who attended Northwestern University, first came to Evanston Hospital as a summer intern in 1981. He then spent 10 years at other Chicago health systems before returning to Evanston Hospital as a vice president in 1992, NorthShore said in a statement this morning.

    * Yahoo Finance | Bed Bath & Beyond: How stock buybacks undermined the company: Would you believe that Bed and Bath has spent more than $11.7 billion to buy back almost three quarters of its own stock? At an average cost about 15 times the stock’s current price? And that only a couple of months ago, when it was already in desperate financial shape, it kept buying back its shares? (For no rational reason, as far as I can tell.)

    * Crain’s | A decade after Rahm Emanuel closed nearly 50 schools, CPS faces a drastically different landscape: The different approaches of then and now have common challenges, including declining enrollments, underutilized schools, scarce resources and ever-present deficits. Families of color and those in low-income communities disproportionately bore the brunt of the Emanuel-era closures, and many say they continue to receive short shrift. Even as CPS enrollment has decreased, the demographic breakdown of students has remained constant. About 47% of students are Latino, 36% are Black and 11% are white. Now is the time to re-evaluate where CPS has been and see where it is — and should be — going.

    * Belt Mag | Moses of Cairo (Illinois): As for the real Arabs, most people beyond Cairo had little idea that there were any of us living in Little Egypt, and outside my family, no one knew that I was a descendant of the first generation. Inside my family it was a different story. After school and during summers, I spent a lot time with my Arab grandmother, who moved to Mt. Vernon when I was in grade school. For her, there was no contradiction in being a down-home Arab in Southern Illinois. If she harbored any internalized oppression resulting from anti-Arab and anti-immigrant bias, it was hard to detect. From her retelling of our family’s history, we belonged in Southern Illinois; we were as Saluki as a person could be.

    * WPSD | New grocery store set to open in Cairo, Illinois, ending food desert and boosting local economy: People there have lived without it for more than seven years, essentially creating a food desert. That will end soon, because a new co-op grocery is set to open soon called Rise Community Market.

    * Statescoop | Maine introduces biometric privacy legislation modeled on Illinois ‘gold standard’: The Maine bill, which would require a written release from an individual before a private entity obtains or uses an individual’s biometric data — prohibit private entities from selling that information — is largely modeled on a 2008 Illinois law that’s considered a gold standard for biometrics privacy.

    * NBC Chicago | Northern Lights Could Be Visible Sunday and Monday Night Illinois, Indiana and 28 Other States: NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center tweeted a “full-halo” CME, a large expulsion of plasma and magnetic field from the Sun’s corona, occurred Friday, explaining it was likely to cause “minor” to “moderate” geomagnetic storming on Sunday and Monday.


  1. - Friendly Bob Adams - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 1:01 pm:

    The Twitter impersonation problem will only get worse. Walsh is just one of many in terms of this problem.

  2. - Bucknell - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 1:04 pm:

    “But it did continue and Dominguez was never indicted.”

    Not only that, he signed off on the strategy. Just because McClain thought it was kinky, doesn’t mean it was illegal.

  3. - regular democrat - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 1:17 pm:

    IF all the moderates stick together they can appoint a moderate senator. Interesting.

  4. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 1:32 pm:

    ===IF all the moderates stick together===

    I don’t think there’s enough.

  5. - Arsenal - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    ==IF all the moderates stick together they can appoint a moderate senator. Interesting.==

    Who are you including as a moderate? I think you should have significant doubts about the ability to keep a coalition with Gardiner together, lol.

    Honestly, tho, this kind of thing usually doesn’t turn on ideology, except to the extent that ideology breeds relationships.

  6. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    ===But it did continue and Dominguez was never indicted.===

    It did continue and he was not indicted.

    But ComEd pled no contest and paid a $200 million fine. So somebody at ComEd/Exelon decided what its management did was outside the lines enough for it to agree to the plea deal. And IIRC, that’s what cost Dominguez his job.

    It’s important to note that the jury in this case has not heard anything about the ComEd plea arrangement.

  7. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===I need to find an AI translator to help me figure out what these stories actually mean. /s===

    Like so many other professionals, financial professionals / economists use “confusing” terms to keep outsiders at bay.

    Remember economics professors being “offended” by describing interest rates as the “rental fee” for money. And, like many things, it is set by demand, which can vary over time.

  8. - regular democrat - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    Reboyras, Cardona, Martinez, Villegas and Gardiner gets u over 22487.

  9. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    regular democrat, I didn’t check when I posted that tweet, but those numbers don’t align with CPZ’s 2022 general election vote.

    Reboyras, Cardona, Martinez and Gardiner gets you 21,292. She got 44,972. According to the Board of Election page, 36 was not part of the district last year.

  10. - H-W - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 3:15 pm:

    == During the impasse, state vendors often had to wait 210 business days to get paid. Today, my oldest bill is 16 days old. ==

    The Party of Fiscal Conservatism.

  11. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 5:08 pm:

    ===Market participants said the oversubscription came on the long end===

    I’ll translate. Oversubscribed means we paid too high of an interest rate to borrow this money. Just like all of the other bond offerings that have been oversubscribed.

    Whoever it is that sets our interest rate on bonds is letting us get screwed out of many of millions of dollars of debt service that we otherwise wouldn’t be paying.

    Our GO Bonds have never been a risky investment instrument. Ever. If there had been any real risk behind those lower bond ratings we wouldn’t have seen them bounce back so quickly but it was always a bunch of malarkey.

  12. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 5:16 pm:

    Corrupted social media outlets are increasingly untrustworthy.

  13. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Apr 24, 23 @ 6:41 pm:

    Saw the northern lights last night; although the display was somewhat muted by the clouds.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Illinois react (Updated)
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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* Study: Illinois has the most diverse cannabis business ownership in the US (Updated)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
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