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Munger Says State Payment Delays Could Reach Six Months

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Despite the stopgap budget approved by the governor and state lawmakers, Illinois State Comptroller Leslie Munger said the state's pile of unpaid bills is expected to total more than $10 billion by the end of the year.

Munger said the state has authority to spend money thanks to the six-month budget deal, but not enough money to spend, so the backlog of unpaid bills is growing. Service agencies are waiting up to six months to get paid.

The comptroller said bills largely will be paid on a first-in, first-out basis, but priority will be given to nonprofits not covered by court orders or consent decrees that continued to provide services without a budget last fiscal year; businesses that provided goods and services to the state without payment last year; and colleges, universities, and students who rely on financial aid from the state and faced major cuts and delays last year.


That means elected state officials can expect to wait to get their paychecks.

"We expect to have, as I mentioned, $10 billion in unpaid bills at the end of this fiscal year, and delays of six months or more for vendors to be paid. How can I in good conscience tell our hospitals, our schools, our small businesses, or non-profits and others to get in line and wait, and we – the elected leaders of the state – walk to the front of the line?" Munger said.

The Republican comptroller is fighting to keep her job in a race against Democratic Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza in November.

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