Former Gov. Jim Edgar, whom critics say helped add to the state’s financial problems, is set to profit off the state’s inability to pay its bills.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports Edgar is chairman of the board for Illinois Financing Partners. The group pays some of the state’s backlogged bills in exchange for collecting the late payment fees when the state makes good. Edgar told the Sun-Times he receives a monthly fee for his services but did not disclose the amount.
Edgar has been critical of Rauner's efforts to include economic reforms in state budget negotiations. Longtime Edgar friend Jim Nowlan said Edgar’s criticism could have hindered Illinois Financial Partner’s profits.
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“It would probably have hurt his own business if Rauner had responded to Edgar’s criticism because there wouldn’t be all this unpaid debt,” Nowlan said.
State Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, said if Edgar had gotten his way and Rauner had caved and agreed to additional taxes without economic reforms, Edgar’s group would have gotten paid more quickly.
“Which I get, and – again – that’s their prerogative but that certainly wasn’t disclosed by Gov. Edgar when he was hitting the media circuits,” Sandack said."That went undisclosed while he was making his assertions and offering his criticisms of Governor Rauner. I think that’s just more of the same, unfortunate."
The state’s backlog of bills at the close of business last week was more than $7.7 billion. Illinois is required to pay 1 percent interest per month on bills older than 9 months. The Sun-Times reports since 2003, Illinois has had to pay more than $1 billion in late-payment fees.