Despite a windfall of money in April that went to pay state vendors, Illinois’ comptroller is warning that the payments will have little impact on the state’s long-term fiscal health. A stronger-than-expected income tax season brought an additional $1.2 billion, earmarked for vendor payments, into state coffers, but Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka says while it’s nice to get money to vendors, that windfall will soon be over and debts will again rise. “By the time we get to August we will be back to close to $9 billion in the hole,” Topinka said. The state currently owes $5.8 billion to vendors and care providers.
Click Here for Summary
Topinka says she has started putting priority on payments to non-profits, particularly those that serve the elderly or disabled. “I’ll be darned if I’m going to let them get thrown on the street and under the bus,” Topinka said.
Topinka says she warned lawmakers not to inflate the budget but she says they did so anyway. Topinka warns lawmakers that the money just isn’t there. Combine that with the sunset of a temporary income tax increase in 2015, and Topinka says the bill backlog will continue to grow.