SPRINGFIELD….. Today in Springfield, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger, speaking to the media from the Capitol’s Blue Room, provided sobering fiscal news regarding the state’s growing backlog of bills. Due to the ongoing budget impasse, Munger said, “We are on pace to dig ourselves $6.2 billion in the hole further into debt this year alone. That’s $6.2 billion more in debt for a state that already had billions of dollars in backlogged bills waiting to be paid,” said Munger. “Our office is doing everything we can under the law to make payments wherever possible. But quite simply, there is no substitute for an appropriated, balanced budget.”
At the same time, across town at the State Fairgrounds, Governor Rauner unveiled reform legislation that would improve efficiency and effectiveness of the state’s procurement system through HB 4644, a bill that has the potential to save taxpayers $500 million. During his comments, Governor Rauner said, “This is an important step in our process to transform the government, to make sure its efficient, effective, and it provides real value for taxpayers and provides a better quality of services to the people of Illinois,” said Rauner. “Procurement has been one of the largest sources of waste and abuse in our state. It’s frustrating, the level of incompetence and inefficiency in the system, and we really need to change this as quickly as we possibly can. We believe if we do this right we can save over a half a billion dollars per year while increasing the quality of the outcomes and quality of the goods and services we are purchasing on behalf of the people of the state.”
State Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), a Co-Sponsor of HB 4644, said addressing waste and inefficiency is an initiative that every lawmaker should support. “The Governor, along with House and Senate Republicans, continue to bring transformational ideas forward. The savings associated with this specific bill are very real, and they could have a significant positive effect on our fiscal situation. By streamlining our procurement process as proposed in HB 4644, we are freeing up $500 million that could be used to address that growing backlog of bills,” said Sandack. “These are the kinds of solutions that deserve bipartisan support, and I will be doing everything I can to ensure that bills like this one are given fair consideration.”
To hear Sandack speak more about the state’s financial crisis as outlined through today’s press conferences, click here.