Pay The Bills

Senator Sullivan announced at a press conference today that he is moving forward with a legislative package to restructure debt associated with the State's massive backlog of overdue bills. Sullivan has filed four bills - SB 342, 343, 344, and 345 - to authorize bonding in the amount of $6.1 billion to immediately pay vendors still awaiting payment for services already rendered the money they're owed.

Read a fact sheet about the proposal by clicking the image below, or read the news release by clicking "Read More".

DebtRestructFact-resized

 

 

 

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Today, the Quincy Herald-Whig's Matt Hopf reported on the huge burden the State's unpaid bills places on local governments. The state is behind in paying its bills to the cities of Quincy, Macomb, Galesburg, Monmouth, and Western Illinois University, creating problems with cash flow and budget planning. Read Matt Hopf's story here or by clicking “Read More”. 

 
Senator Sullivan has stated his support for a plan to pay the backlog of bills and to consolidate this debt through bonding.

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Senator Sullivan recently wrote a letter to Comptroller Judy BaarTopinka asking for a detailed breakdown of the State's backlog of unpaid bills. Comptroller Topinka kindly obliged, revealing a backlog of more than $4.5 billion. Learn more about the backlog by reading the release after the jump, or see the document, below:

Sullivan Comptroller Backlog Breakdown-v2-RESIZED 

 

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Recently, Senator Sullivan issued the following letter to update constituents on his work to address the state's backlog of unpaid, overdue bills.

 

Dear Neighbors,

Not long ago, I reached out to hundreds of constituents regarding the State’s current backlog of overdue, unpaid bills. In my letter, I explained my support of the concept under discussion in Springfield to quickly pay these overdue bills through bonding. I also asked supporters to sign an online petition and to share their stories with me.

You are among the hundreds of concerned citizens who have signed that petition. Thank you. I’m pleased with the overwhelmingly positive feedback, but I’m also very concerned about the heartbreaking stories you’ve shared.

I’ve learned of preschool students who will no longer have access to pre-K programs, seniors who will no longer receive meal deliveries, and employees who will no longer have a job, all because of the State’s inability to pay its bills. I’ve heard from businesses forced to take on additional loans, re-finance existing loans, or extend lines of credit, just to keep the lights on and make payroll.

Over and over, the message is clear: unless the State pays its bills, there will be more layoffs, cuts to needed services, and burdens on already cash-strapped local organizations.

The concept of paying the bills through bonding has been met with partisan resistance in Springfield. Many Republicans have argued the state should not take on additional debt. The truth is, this debt already exists — however, it’s currently on your balance sheets instead of the State’s where it belongs.

Because the State is actually already indebted to organizations like yours, bonding does not create additional debt. Bonding does, however, shift the burden of debt from your organization back to the State.

Another attack on the proposal to pay the bills is based in criticisms of specific budget numbers.

Republicans disagree with proposed amounts of borrowing because they claim we don’t have an accurate assessment of the State’s current backlog of bills. Now, I’ve asked for that assessment.

Yesterday, I sent a letter to Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to ask for the straight facts on the State’s current backlog of bills. While we know the State owes money to individual organizations like yours, to date, no one has asked the Comptroller for a comprehensive analysis of the total backlog. Read my letter to Comptroller Topinka, and listen to a recent interview where I discuss these issues.

I’ve asked Comptroller Topinka to provide the General Assembly with a breakdown of bills overdue by 30, 60, and more than 90 days. I’ve also asked for a categorical breakdown of how much is owed to schools, Medicaid, and social service providers.

Armed with these facts, I’m hopeful Springfield’s partisan politics will no longer block proposed solutions to pay the bills. I hope you’ll continue to support the efforts to pay the bills. I’ll do my best to keep you informed of developments in Springfield, but I would ask that you help spread the word of how critical this effort is at home. Consider contacting your other elected officials and sharing your stories with them and please forward this letter to your friends, neighbors and coworkers.

Please also continue to spread the word about my online petition at www.senatorjohnsullivan.com/paythebills.

Thanks,

State Senator John Sullivan, 47th District

We caught up with Senator Sullivan to discuss the state's backlog of unpaid bills. Listen to the story below:

Click to download in MP3 format (4.36MB)

Today, Senator Sullivan issued a letter to Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka requesting a firm analysis of the state's backlog of unpaid, overdue bills.

Read Senator Sullivan's letter by clicking the image below.

Sullivan Asks How Much Page 1

 

Today, Senator Sullivan issued a letter to Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka asking for a firm analysis of the state's backlog of unpaid and overdue bills.

Read the release after the jump.

 

 

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Sunday's Quincy Herald-Whig featured an editorial about the devastating impact the state's unpaid bills are having on local schools.

The editorial referenced Senator Sullivan's recent comment that "too many schools, health care providers and local businesses have been forced to assume the burden of the state's failures."

Senator Sullivan supports a plan to Pay the Bills. Show your support for the plan by signing the petition, here.

Read Sunday's Editorial after the jump.

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quincy middle schoolThe Quincy School Board is preparing to make personnel cuts, due in part to $3 million of unpaid bills from the State of Illinois. The Quincy Herald-Whig reported:

“[Superintendent Lonny Lemon] said other reductions in force are associated with the ongoing ‘state funding dilemma’ facing Quincy and many other Illinois school districts, which are still waiting to receive overdue state reimbursements for various programs.

Lemon said Monday the state is still between $2.8 million and $3 million behind on its payments to the Quincy School District for the 2011 fiscal year, which ends June 30. He is hopeful the state will come through with that money by the end of the fiscal year, but there are no guarantees.”

Senator Sullivan supports a plan to pay these unpaid bills so local communities, schools, and businesses can avoid cuts like these. Sullivan doesn’t think local organizations should have to assume the burden of the state’s failures.

Read more about this plan, and Senator Sullivan’s online petition to Pay the Bills, here. To show your support for paying the bills, sign the petition here.

paythebills RESIZEDSenator Sullivan recently launched an online petition where those affected by the state's $6 billion backlog of unpaid bills can share their stories and show support for the plan to Pay the Bills.

Read some of these stories from local schools and service providers after the jump.

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sullivan 011210br0098 - for webSenator John Sullivan recently wrote a column explaining the state of Illinois' current $6 billion backlog of unpaid bills, and his support of a plan to pay those past-due bills. The column was published by the McDonough County Voice in Macomb. Read it here.

For those who join Senator Sullivan in supporting a plan to pay the bills, please sign the online petition.

Read the column after the jump.

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In a letter to 300 local schools, social service agencies, colleges and universities, municipalities, county officials, and health care providers currently owed money by the state of Illinois, Senator Sullivan laid out his proposal to settle the state's $6 billion backlog of unpaid bills.

Senator Sullivan also launched an online petition where those affected by the unpaid bills can show their support for the plan to pay the bills, and where they can share their stories about how unpaid bills have impacted them.

Read the release after the jump.

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Senator John Sullivan reached out to 300 local organizations currently owed money by the state of Illinois. In a letter to local schools, social service agencies, colleges and universities, municipalities, county officials, and health care providers, Senator Sullivan laid out his proposal to settle the state’s $6 billion backlog of unpaid bills.

Below, see an example of Sen. Sullivan's letter:

QPS Digital Letter