SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In response to reports that Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has waiting failed to submit billions of dollars in bills for payment, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for late payment penalties, state Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Joliet, voted to override the governor’s veto of bipartisan legislation that will give taxpayers a more transparent account of state finances.
“Governor Rauner’s veto of this bipartisan measure was a desperation tactic to prevent taxpayers from learning the truth about how much his budget crisis cost our state,” Walsh said. “By requiring the administration to report debt obligations every month, we can have an up-to-date picture of how much we owe and respond accordingly.”
Walsh sponsored the Debt Transparency Act, House Bill 3649, which requires 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, 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. Walsh 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.
“By overriding the governor’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act, Democrats and Republicans joined together about sending a clear and loud message that we must be more open and transparent in how we govern,” Walsh said. “I look forward to working in partnership with members on both sides of aisle as we take steps to reduce our debt, invest in education, and help create good-paying jobs.”