Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger on Wednesday announced that the Illinois General Assembly’s failure to reach a budget agreement with Gov. Bruce Rauner by July 1 will lead to severe consequences for residents and organizations throughout the state.
“I am here as the state’s chief fiscal officer to urge the General Assembly to avoid causing this unnecessary hardship and work with the governor to pass a balanced budget,” Munger said at a Chicago news conference. “I am here to remind all involved that this isn’t a game to be won or lost — their rhetoric, posturing and decisions have grave implications on people and communities across the state.”
Regardless of budget negotiations, the comptroller will be able to continue making payments authorized under the current fiscal year budget — including the state’s existing $5 billion backlog.
However, when the fiscal year 2015 bills are paid, she will not have appropriation authority to make new payments that fall under the new fiscal year, fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1. Ramifications include:
- New Medicaid provider payments will stop
- Nonprofits and small employers will be unable to receive expedited payments
- State employees will start missing paychecks July 15
- General state aid payments to schools will not be delivered as scheduled on Aug. 10
- New payments to state vendors will stop
Munger noted that continuing appropriations and other legal provisions will allow her to meet some fiscal year 2016 obligations, including the following payments: debt, pension, retiree benefits, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Assistance for the Aged, Blind and Disabled, and most local government payments.
On the budget impasse, Munger urged the General Assembly to reach an agreement with the governor that includes reforms to make Illinois more competitive and grow its tax base. She noted that the budget passed by legislators last month has a $4 billion shortfall, which is “what put us in this mess in the first place.”
“I come from the private sector, and I have been extremely disappointed by the inactivity and needless theater in Springfield,” Munger said. “So far, lawmakers have failed to do their jobs. And their failure prevents me from doing mine. It’s time for all parties to find common ground before the situation grows dire.”