SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, is demanding the state follow commonsense accounting practices to begin paying down a multibillion dollar backlog of bills allowed to pile up during Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget crisis. Crespo voted to pass bipartisan legislation that will require the governor to account for old bills and late fees in his budget proposals.

“While Governor Rauner talks a big game about fiscal responsibility and holding government accountable, it is far from what his administration has actually done,” Crespo said. “In the last two-and-half-years, Governor Rauner’s budget games have tripled state debt to an unprecedented $16 billion, and forced taxpayers to pay more than $1 billion in interest fees because his administration couldn’t pay bills on time. Still, his phony budget proposals do not account for this. We need to hold this administration and future administrations accountable, and ensure they are managing taxpayer money properly.”

Crespo stood with a group of Republicans and Democrats to pass House Bill 5814, which would require governors to identify and account for late payment fees in their yearly budget proposal. Currently, most late payment interest penalties accrue at a rate of 12 percent per month for bills not paid within 90 days of the bill date. Between 1998 and 2015, late fees owed to vendors providing services to the state totaled $1.0396 billion. However, Crespo’s Debt Transparency Act has revealed that in the last two-and-a-half-years alone, Illinois accrued $1.1396 billion in late fees without a clear plan in place to pay for them.

“Rather than putting money into education, health care, services for seniors, or tax cuts for the middle class, over a billion dollars will now have to go toward paying off avoidable fees,” Crespo said. “Like other good government reforms, this legislation passed the House with bipartisan support and it’s my hope that the governor will finally work with us to restore financial sanity to our state.”

Rep Fred CrespoRep Fred Crespo

(D-Hoffman Estates)
44th District

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