COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – Frustrated by recent news reports that Gov. Rauner’s agencies have failed to submit $7.5 billion in unpaid bills for payment, masking the state’s true debt crisis, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is again urging lawmakers to override the governor’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act, which would require state agencies to be more transparent about their debt and unpaid bills.
“It is insane and irresponsible for the state’s agencies to hide their unpaid bills and mask the true magnitude of the state’s debt,” said Stuart. “As a taxpayer, I’m angry. As a state Representative, I’m taking action. I supported the Debt Transparency Act and am urging all of my colleagues to override the governor’s irresponsible veto of this bill. This bill puts an end to state bureaucrats hiding their unpaid bills while racking up more debt and more taxpayer-funded interest payments. Taxpayers deserve to know how much the state owes. Policymakers need a clear and complete picture of the problem in order to tackle it. This is common sense.”
House Bill 3649, the Debt Transparency Act, passed the House with bipartisan support and would have required state agencies to give monthly reports to the Comptroller’s Office on the number of bills that they are holding and an estimate of the amount of late payments that would be paid on those liabilities. Currently, agencies only have to report once a year, making most of the information outdated by the time it is received by legislators and taxpayers.
“The governor’s veto of this pro-taxpayer, pro-transparency bill and the continued recklessness of his state agencies only add to the state’s debt. This hurts the small businesses and service providers in our community who continue to provide goods and services to the state in exchange for an IOU from Illinois,” Stuart added.