JOLIET, Ill. – State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, is urging lawmakers to override the governor’s veto of a measure that would make Illinois state finances more transparent by requiring agencies to disclose any bills that have not yet gone to the Office of the Illinois Comptroller.
“One of the most pressing challenges that the state faces right now is the growing mountain of past due bills,” Manley said. “Currently the Comptroller’s Office has a backlog of $14 billion, however, no one knows how many bills are sitting in state agencies waiting to be sent to the comptroller. This legislation would have ensured that all elected officials and the public would have a full understanding of the state’s fiscal condition.”
Gov. Rauner recently vetoed House Bill 3649, which would require 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. 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. The governor reported he vetoed the measure because reporting these numbers monthly would be too hard for state agencies to manage. By reforming how state agencies report their liabilities, Manley’s legislation would ensure that hard-earned, taxpayer dollars are protected from financial mismanagement.
“Everyone has a right to know what the state’s financial liabilities are and that requires making as much information about our finances public as possible,” Manley said. “Knowing exactly what bills are outstanding is critical when making decisions about cash flow. As a certified public accountant, I know that having open and transparent finances will help elected officials make better decisions in an effort to get Illinois back on track.”
For more information, please contact Manley’s constituent service office at 815-725-2741 or RepManley@gmail.com.