SPRINGFIELD — Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza Wednesday thanked Republican and Democratic members of the Illinois House of Representatives who came together in bipartisan unity to vote 112-0 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the Debt Transparency Act.
"This is a huge victory for taxpayers who will soon be able to get a better look at the state's pile of unpaid bills – that's more than $16 billion that has been run up in their name," Comptroller Mendoza said. "But that number is just an estimate. We don't really know how many bills are sitting at the agencies. Sometimes we get bombarded by an overnight surprise of a billion dollars worth of bills we never knew about. Legislators of both parties came together today for this vote because we all want a more accountable cash and debt management process."
Using analogies of a home checkbook, Comptroller Mendoza talked to legislators and citizens about the need to have more than one report a year. The Debt Transparency Act would require monthly instead of annual reports from state agencies to the Comptroller's Office and allow more comprehensive financial information to be included.
"I take my responsibility to manage taxpayer dollars very seriously," Mendoza said. "As Comptroller, I am looking to improve processes and increase financial transparency in order to better manage our debt and safeguard taxpayer dollars. Knowing the extent of our state’s liabilities is an essential component of responsible cash and debt management and will put us on the path to sounder fiscal footing. This is the role of the Comptroller’s Office today, and moving forward."
The Illinois State Senate is expected to vote whether to override during the second week of veto session Nov. 7-9.
"I'd like to thank Rep. Fred Crespo for sponsoring the bill and Reps. Tony McCombie; David McSweeney; Stephanie Kifowit and Marcus Evans for co-sponsoring and working for this amazing result," Mendoza said.
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