SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, joined legislators on both sides of the aisle Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act and provide a more accurate accounting of the state’s finances for lawmakers and the public.
“As a certified public accountant, I understand that it is essential for those making decisions about how the state will allocate taxpayer dollars to be armed with all of the facts,” Manley said. “None of us could successfully manage our personal finances without knowing all the details. I doubt that our governor made businesses decisions without all the facts, so I’m unsure why he’d want the state to make haphazard or irresponsible decisions. Our Comptroller’s office can’t be expected to make decisions that impact our budget without fully understanding how much money we owe to businesses and social services. All of these details must be made available so that good decisions can be made.”
A recent report by the Associated Press found that state agencies have failed to submit $7.5 billion in bills for payment, incurring additional late-payment penalties. This is half of the over $15 billion in unpaid bills the comptroller is trying to pay.
The Debt Transparency Act will require state agencies to report monthly to the comptroller the liabilities they are holding and estimate all late interest penalties that will be incurred. The measure was sent to Gov. Rauner with bipartisan support, but was vetoed. The governor insisted that providing this accounting was too burdensome for government agencies, but his veto was overridden Wednesday with both Republicans and Democrats voting in support.
“Getting the state’s finances back on the right track should not be partisan issue,” Manley said. “Regardless of the political divisions that the governor has tried repeatedly to create, I am pleased to see that lawmakers agree and are finding to try to find ways to work together and do what is in the best interest of all of the communities we serve.”