COMPTROLLER SEEKS TO END EXIT, SIGNING BONUSES FOR LAWMAKERS

After a quiet year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Statehouse saw more activity this spring when lawmakers returned to Springfield to work on legislation and a state budget during the legislative session.

A loophole in state law should be closed that allows legislators to be paid an entire month’s salary for working only a handful of days or less in the month, according to a new proposal from Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza.

Mendoza has proposed a measure in the General Assembly that would close the loophole, and she’s calling it her “no exit/signing bonus” plan. It would pro-rate legislators’ salaries so that they would only get a day’s pay for a day’s work. Lawmakers’ monthly base salary currently is $5,788.66.

Mendoza’s proposal was contained in the legislature’s ethics legislation (Senate…


MARKING A YEAR OF COVID-19

Dear Reader,

As we mark one year since the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s necessary stay-at-home orders, let’s take a moment to remember the more than 20,000 Illinoisans who have died from this dreadful disease and the loved ones they left behind.

The pandemic continues to touch all parts of the Illinois economy, from revenue and expenses to unemployment and the availability of goods and services.

Although there is reason to be hopeful things will look up by the end of this year, state government must remain vigilant about its budget. …


MOST STATE VENDORS PAID WITHIN DAYS OF COMPTROLLER RECEIVING THE BILLS

Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza recently announced that the state’s backlog of unpaid bills has fallen to $3.5 billion from a high of $16.7 billion in 2017, meaning that, for the first time in years, the state is paying its bills as they come in.

There remains $3.5 billion in interfund transfers owed to other branches of government, group health insurance bills with limited appropriation authority, and invoices at state agencies that have not yet been forwarded to the Office of Comptroller for payment.

“This is a remarkable day that I have been working toward since I took office…


SUPER BOWL LV WAGERING NETS $1.1M IN REVENUE FOR STATE

When Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Sports Wagering Act into law in the summer of 2019, it opened up gambling options across the state amid hope for more revenue to shore up the state’s checkbook.

But a global pandemic that emerged later that year had other plans, shutting down the state and national economy, including entertainment, for much of 2020.

On March 9, 2020, Illinois saw its first legal sports wager with little fanfare as concerns about the deadly virus dominated headlines. Days later, the NBA suspended its season after several players tested positive for COVID-19. Other major sports…


ADVOCATES STRESS THE NEED TO ACT QUICKLY DURING CRISIS

A volunteer with the Catholic Charities Meals on Wheels Macon County program loads meals to be delivered to older adults in central Illinois in late April 2020. Employees and volunteers have been on the frontlines during the pandemic to help make sure senior citizens are able to receive nutritious meals. (Photo credit: East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging)

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a financial, health, and food insecurity crisis for Illinois’ aging population.

At the onset of the pandemic, social distancing and restrictions on nursing homes isolated many seniors throughout Illinois and often impeded the ability of support services to provide adequate nutrition to food-insecure and low-income residents over age 65.

Prior to the crisis, many low-income older adults already lacked access to sufficient nutritional support.

When shelter-in-place orders were issued in response to the spread of the coronavirus, many Illinois residents began stocking up on food and supplies, and in some cases hoarding essential items such…


LARGEST NUMBER OF LOANS IN ILLINOIS WENT TO TRUCKING COMPANIES

Shortly after the start of the new year, the federal government began administering a second round of stimulus aimed at providing relief for the negative economic effects of the mitigation measures put in place to help stall the spread of the coronavirus.

In addition to supplemental unemployment and direct payments to individuals, the measures passed by Congress also included additional Payroll Protection Program, or PPP, loans for small businesses.

These loans are intended to help businesses with 500 employees or less to continue to pay workers and cover costs such as rents and mortgages during the pandemic. …


CENTRAL COUNTIES HEALTH CENTERS OFFERS WHOLE-HEALTH LIFELINE DURING PANDEMIC

An employee of Central Counties Health Centers receives a COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021. Federally qualified health centers like Central Counties have been vital to providing frontline health care, information, and other services to the community during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo provided)

For more than two decades, Central Counties Health Centers has offered accessible, affordable health care to many of central Illinois’ most vulnerable residents. And if the deadly COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced anything, it’s that community health centers like Central Counties are a whole-health lifeline to people in need.

“We work with a lot of people who have those social determinants of health, those things outside of medical and dental, that affect the whole health of a human being. We help with food insecurity, transportation, housing issues. …


$14M UTILIZED AS OF SPRING 2021

Illinois’ cannabis reform law requires monthly deposits into the state’s rainy-day fund to be used for the state’s backlog of bills.

As of March 1, 2021, the Illinois Office of Comptroller has utilized $14 million from the deposits for payments to critical access pharmacies in rural and underserved areas of the state, as well as for bills related to social justice.

The pharmacy payments are part of the state’s Critical Access Pharmacy program, which makes supplemental payments to help small, independently owned pharmacies that have experienced serious financial difficulty because of rates offered under the state’s managed care program and…


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NOTES

Economic development projects in communities all over Illinois are injecting needed revenue, revitalization, and economic activity into the state. Below is a look at just a few of the projects underway in Illinois.

1-BLOOMINGTON: Ferrero North America plans to invest $75 million to build a chocolate manufacturing center in Bloomington, where the company already has a production facility. The new center will add on to the existing facility and produce chocolate for such candy favorites as Crunch, 100Grand, SnoCaps, Raisinets, Goobers, and more.

2-DECATUR: InnovaFeed and ADM will build the world’s largest insect protein production site in Decatur. Construction is…

Illinois State Comptroller

The official account for Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza. Follow us for office services and #ILbudget updates.

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