SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Committed to increasing government transparency and accountability, state Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, passed legislation through the House Friday that would reform how state agencies manage their finances.
“Illinois is facing unprecedented fiscal challenges, and in order to overcome them we must know how much debt state agencies are actually holding,” Crespo said. “This is a common-sense reform that will ensure government is being transparent with its taxpayers, and I am happy that it passed the House with bipartisan support.”
Crespo’s House Bill 3649, would reform how state agencies manage their finances and reveal the full extent of Illinois’ debt. According to the Comptroller’s office, liabilities are not being reported quickly enough and it is resulting in a significant amount of late-fees being accumulated. The bill would require state agencies to report to the comptroller, on a monthly basis, the number of bills that are due, as well as possible late-fees on them. The Comptroller estimates that the state’s backlog of bills amounts to $12.7 billion. Crespo’s legislation would ensure that taxpayers do not end up paying more than they already have to because of financial mismanagement.
“My office right now has to estimate just how many bills are stacked up at agencies and how much is accruing in interest penalties. This is a crucial tool to get a better handle on this,” Comptroller Mendoza said. Current estimates put the total amount of Late Payment Interest Penalties accrued at well over $700 million.
“That’s $700 million of taxpayer money we are just throwing away – it’s not helping kids get day care or go to college. It’s not helping seniors get meals on wheels or keep their home health care,” Mendoza said. “Just think how many sick people could get timely health care if we had $800 million to pay our past-due medical bills. Think how many more Illinois students could get MAP grants to attend college with that money.”
House Bill 3649 now moves to the Senate for consideration and will be sponsored by state Senator Andy Manar.
Crespo represents the 44th District, which includes all or portions of Bartlett, Elgin, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg and Streamwood.
Visit Rep Fred Crespo’s Website
245-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 557-4622 FAX
1014 E. Schaumburg Road
Streamwood, IL 60107
(630) 372-3342 FAX