DECATUR – Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Tuesday encouraged Illinois not-for-profit agencies to contact her office if they are on the verge of closing due to state payment delays.
Standing with not-for-profit leaders and clients at Macon Resources, Topinka said that government budget cuts and state payment delays have created staggering fiscal challenges for many service agencies. Noting that those challenges may seem overwhelming, she encouraged agency leaders to contact her office before cutting services or closing their doors.
Topinka urged vendors to contact the office online at illinoiscomptroller.com, or by calling its Consumer Affairs hotline at 1-855-IL-ASK-US.
"Not-for-profit and service agencies are the backbone of our state. Their services make all the difference when it comes to the quality of life, if not survival, of our most vulnerable residents. We cannot have them shut down because of state payment delays," Topinka said. "I urge those agencies to contact my office if they are in dire straits because of payment delays, and we will do everything we can to keep them going."
The announcement from the state fiscal officer comes one month after she directed staff to prioritize payments for day programs, child group homes, community living facilities and other programs serving the developmentally disabled. Similarly, the Comptroller in May prioritized payments for child care providers after the General Assembly passed additional funding for those services.
Topinka vowed to continue prioritizing service agencies whenever possible, noting that the state has a moral obligation to provide aid to its most vulnerable.
"We have nearly $8 billion in unpaid bills, so I can't make any blanket guarantees," Topinka told service providers. "But I can tell you that we understand the critical nature of your work, and we will do everything in our power to make sure it continues."
After the announcement, Topinka met with leaders and clients at Macon Resources, a Decatur not-for-profit providing comprehensive programs to developmentally disabled children and adults, which promote individual growth, independence, and self-worth.