ALTON – State Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, is calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign legislation to increase the transparency of the state’s finances by requiring state agencies to report unpaid bills not yet sent to the comptroller.
“A few weeks ago, the backlog of unpaid bills jumped from $14 billion to $15 billion overnight after agencies sent vouchers to the comptroller,” Beiser said this week. “This makes me want to know how many other bills are sitting in various departments waiting to be paid. If legislators don’t have a full picture of the state’s finances, it makes it very difficult to determine the best path forward.”
Beiser supported House Bill 3649, which would require 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.
According to the Comptroller’s Office, liabilities are not being reported quickly enough, and as a result, millions of dollars in penalty fees are accruing on the state’s overdue bills. By reforming how state agencies report their liabilities, this legislation would ensure that hard-earned taxpayer dollars are protected from financial mismanagement.
“For too long, politicians tried to hide the true fiscal picture of our state through budgeting gimmicks,” Beiser said. “We cannot afford to continue to do this. I am asking Gov. Rauner to quickly sign this legislation to allow legislators and taxpayers to see and better understand the state’s financial challenges.”