Lawmakers Push For Transparency In State Debt

Oct 23, 2017

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield for their fall veto session beginning this week. On the agenda is a measure intended to make reports of the state’s debt more accurate.

Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed HB 3649 that would force state agencies to report unpaid bills every month — rather than the current annual requirement.  In his veto message, the governor said the comptroller is trying to micromanage and impose burdens on these agencies. 

Democratic Rep. Fred Crespo — of Hoffman Estates — says the idea that this would be a burden is “absurd.”

"In my opinion these agencies should have these reports right now as we speak. If they don’t—how do they manage? How do they manage the amount of money and services they are getting and paying?” 

Crespo says this will help the comptroller’s office by having the real-time status of unpaid bills and the interest they accumulate. The current backlog is reported at $16.5 billion— but that’s only an estimate.

Crespo says he hopes to override the governor during the upcoming veto session.  The measure was approved with bipartisan support, and sponsors are counting on those same votes for the override.