Past Due! Illinois Vendors Furious as Unpaid Bills Top $10 Billion
Illinois has not had a budget for 8 months and counting.
Unpaid bills pile up having now reached a record $10 billion to $12 billion according to state comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger.
Vendors are furious. One vendor has lost 40% of staff that once numbered 1,000 because it has not made its payroll for 14 weeks.
Unpaid Vendors Furious
Crain's Chicago Business phrases things mildly: Unpaid Vendors Make Frowny Face at State.
As Illinois politicians continue to squabble over a budget that should have taken effect July 1, hundreds of state contractors have been left with little more than I.O.U.s, according to more than 500 pages of documents -- just since Nov. 1 -- released to the Associated Press under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
The state owes $2 million to Ashley's Quality Care in Chicago, which provides in-home care workers to keep seniors out of nursing homes, according to chief accountant Michael Robinson. The company has not met its payroll for 14 weeks, forcing the departure of 40 percent of its previous 1,000 employees; clientele has dipped by one-third, to 800, slicing revenue.
"You go from affecting a company, to its employees, to the clients, to the social well-being of the community," Robinson said.
Paid, Unpaid, Service Refused
- Unpaid: $2 million to Ashley's Quality Care.
- Refused: A Department of Human Services rehabilitation counselor in Downers Grove sought a taxi for a client and received an email that "all service is on hold due to non-payment."
- Paid: A New Jersey landlord threatened to evict Illinois Revenue Department tax auditors from their rented home in that state unless he received five months' rent totaling $37,936.20. The bill was paid, I suspect illegally without a budget.
- Unpaid: Water and sewer bill at the 1848 Mt. Pulaski Courthouse.
- Refused & Unpaid: An Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission arbitrator's personalized date-stamp broke, but it wasn't replaced because the supplier was awaiting $511.06 that was past due.
- Refused: Springfield store refuses to sell all-purpose Fabuloso Cleaner for the Secretary of State's office.
Tip of the Iceberg
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There's $10 billion to $12 billion in unpaid bills.
As the bills mount, some businesses like Ashley's quality care, a business with 600 employees, down from 1000 employees may not even survive.
Meanwhile the Illinois legislature sits, insisting on the status quo.
It's the Democrat-controlled legislature who is to blame for this fiscal mess. Governor Bruce Rauner rightfully insists no budget without reform.
Meanwhile, the bills and the hardships on Illinois vendors mount.
And in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel refuses the only solution that has a chance of working: bankruptcy.
Rauner needs to hold out for as long as it takes.
Email Speaker Madigan
Vendors who want to get paid, should consider sending House Speaker Mike Madigan a friendly note at firstname.lastname@example.org