Illinois finally has a budget, and now begins the complicated process of paying down the state’s backlog of unpaid bills that’s reached a whopping $15 billion.
During the two-year impasse, the comptroller’s office followed court orders, consent decrees and state laws to determine which payments to make. For example, the office was required to pay salaries for state employees in full. But until a judge’s ruling on June 30, it was not required to make certain Medicaid payments. The morning after the budget went into effect, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a Democrat, told WGN Radio that her office had been operating like a “trauma center” during the impasse and that now it will act like a “room for stabilization” and eventually a “recovery room.”
Morning Shift talks to Mendoza about the steps she’s taking to pay down the state’s backlog of bills following the passage of the budget and what that means for Illinois residents.