SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following reports that Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has failed to submit billions of dollars in bills for payment, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for late payment penalties, state Rep. Kelly Burke, D-Evergreen Park, voted to override the governor’s veto of bipartisan legislation that will give taxpayers a more transparent account of state finances.
“Middle-class families are required to pay their bills in a timely fashion and they should expect the same thing from their government,” Burke said. “Governor Rauner’s veto of this bipartisan measure was a desperate attempt to hide the damage done to our state by his budget crisis. Enacting this measure despite the governor’s veto will provide some much-needed accountability over how our money is being managed.”
Burke sponsored the Debt Transparency Act, House Bill 3649, which requires state agencies to report the liabilities they are holding to the comptroller ever month, and also provide an estimate of the amount of late interest penalties that will be paid on those bills, giving taxpayers a clear look at how their tax dollars are being managed. A recent report by the Associated Press found that state agencies have failed to submit $7.5 billion in bills for payment, expanding the state’s debt and incurring additional late-payment penalties.
Rauner vetoed the measure, refusing to reveal the full extent of state debt accrued as a result of his budget crisis. Burke joined with Democrats and Republicans to override the governor’s veto and ensure that taxpayers do not end up paying more than they already have because of financial mismanagement.
“Overriding the governor’s veto sends a message that transparency is a bipartisan issue and that the best government operates in the open, not behind closed doors,” Burke said. “I would like to thank my colleagues on both sides of aisle for setting aside partisanship and doing what’s right for the families of Illinois.”