IL Comptroller: “It is only appropriate that the unfair prioritization of payments to elected leaders ends.”

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ILLINOIS – Comptroller Leslie Munger released a statement on Sunday saying that compensation for Illinois’ General Assembly members and Constitutional Officers will be delayed due to the state’s $7.8 billion backlog.

The State of Illinois is in its 10th month of operation without a budget in place.

Munger’s statement explains the State has been paying bills “under a patchwork of Court Orders, Consent Decrees and statutory authorizations.” She expects the State to go $6.2 billion deeper into debt, which will worsen its fiscal condition, exacerbating cash flow challenges and lengthening payment delays.

The Comptroller says it is appropriate that elected leaders face delays, just as families, social service organizations, schools and businesses have been waiting for months on payments.

State payments are currently delayed a minimum of two months, unless they are expedited due to “severe hardship.” That wait time is expected to grow in lower revenue months in the summer and fall.

“As our cash crunch grows in the coming months, it is only appropriate that the unfair prioritization of payments to elected leaders ends. We are all in this together, we all will wait in line,” Munger said in her statement on April 17.

Salaries for the State’s six Constitutional Officers and 177 General Assembly members total approximately $1.3 million a month, or $15.6 million annually.

While elected leaders are customarily paid on the last day of the month, Munger says they will not receive the payments. The Comptroller’s Office will still process the vouchers on a monthly basis, but the warrants will now wait in a queue with other payments before being released when cash is available.

“It is the right thing to do, and if this action helps bring all sides together to pass a balanced budget and end this unnecessary and devastating hardship to our state, that is an added benefit,” Munger adds.

“Illinois needs a balanced budget. It is well past time that we get it done.”

Munger will speak at a news conference on Sunday afternoon about her decision.

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