Illinois Comptroller looks at the bill backlog

Susana Mendoza
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza. (WJBC file photo)

 

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – Comptroller Susana Mendoza says the state’s pile of unpaid bills is now shorter than $5 billion. So would we be alone in noticing we’re not hearing as much these days about the bill backlog and state budget?

“I would say they are getting less attention from the general public and even members of the press,” says Mendoza, “because most of the attention is on the pandemic itself, because people in Illinois every day are dying.

“But it has 100 percent of my attention.”

And, as Illinois prepares a budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, the state is headed for a world of hurt.

“Everyone was warned that without the (constitutional amendment for a graduated income tax), we would be looking at painful cuts to state services, and they are going to be painful,” Mendoza continues. “So I think my role in all this is going to be to best manage the state’s checkbook.”

The pandemic-driven schedule changes throw the governor’s budget speech into question. It’s scheduled for Feb. 17.

Dave Dahl can be reached at news@wjbc.com

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