SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, passed bipartisan legislation to enact transparent budgeting practices that will require the governor to account for late interest payments on the state’s unpaid bills.
“When families or businesses work on their budget, one of the first things they have to know is the amount of debt that they have,” Manley said. “The state needs to use the same sort of fiscal discipline when it comes to putting together a state budget.”
Manley joined a Democrats and Republican legislators to pass House Bill 5814, which will require governors to identify and account for late payment fees in their yearly budget proposal. While the comptroller reports that Illinois has accrued more than $1.1 billion in late fees over the past two and a half years, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recent budget proposal contained no accounting for these fees. This total is larger than the entire amount of late fee debt the state previously accrued between 1998 and 2015.
“Last year a bipartisan group of legislators passed the Debt Transparency Act, which requires state agencies to inform the comptroller’s office of any bills they have,” Manley said. “This year we have already worked to end the practice of off-shoring, which is when employees of the governor out of other state agencies budgets. With this legislation, the governor’s office will be required to include debt service payments in its state budget proposal. Each of these are important steps to bring more accountability and transparency to state government. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue this work.”