SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – With Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog at over $14 billion, state Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Joliet, is criticizing Gov. Bruce Rauner’s attempt to deny taxpayers a full accounting of state debt accrued as a result of Rauner’s budget crisis.
“Time and time again we have seen when state government operates in the dark, taxpayers lose out,” Walsh said. “By vetoing the Debt Transparency Act, Governor Rauner is refusing to hold himself and his administration responsible for the spending they have done under his watch.”
Walsh sponsored House Bill 3649, which requires state agencies to report monthly to the comptroller the liabilities they are holding, plus an estimate of the amount of late interest penalties that will be paid on those bills. But Rauner vetoed the measure, refusing to reveal the full extent of state debt accrued as a result of his budget crisis. According to the comptroller’s office, liabilities are not being reported quickly enough, and as a result, millions of dollars in penalty fees are accruing on the state’s overdue bills. By reforming how state agencies report their liabilities, Walsh’s legislation would ensure that taxpayers do not end up paying more than they already have because of financial mismanagement.
“Governor Rauner’s veto of this bipartisan measure is just another attempt by him to hide how much his budget crisis has financially cost our state,” Walsh said. “I am urging my colleagues to override the governor’s veto so we can have a full and accurate accounting of the debt our state’s owes.”