Wednesday, January 12, 2022
SPRINGFIELD — Today, Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza unveiled a new weekly report that shares key financial data with the public.
“This continues and builds upon my transparency revolution,” said Comptroller Mendoza. “Illinois taxpayers and businesses that work with the state deserve to have easy access to these numbers, which reflect how government is operating and managing their hard-earned tax dollars.”
Each week an updated graphic will be shared via Comptroller Mendoza’s social media accounts. It will highlight the following:
The General Funds bill backlog. Under Comptroller Mendoza, the bill backlog has shrunk nearly 75%, from $16.7 billion during the worst of the 2015-2017 budget impasse to less than $4.4 billion at the end of the day Tuesday, without using federal stimulus funds. The measure is a snapshot in time, subject to daily fluctuations as bills land at the Comptroller’s office and are paid out.
The General Funds bill payment cycle. This is a key data point the Office of Comptroller focuses on. Included in the devastation of the budget impasse, some vouchers languished for more than 200 working days. Now, bills are being paid on time, well within the regular 30-day window, the fastest payment cycle for the Comptroller’s office in over 20 years.
Rainy Day Fund. The state’s savings fund, frankly, leaves much to be desired. That’s why the Comptroller is championing House Bill 4118 that would bolster the fund when the backlog of bills is below $3 billion. For now, the fund includes enough savings to keep the state running for a little more than an hour. That’s not much, but it’s up from less than 30 seconds a year ago.
Unfunded pension liabilities. This number reported by the state’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, based on the market value of assets, reflects the additional amount that would be needed to pay all retirement benefits earned by employees. While the Comptroller’s Office does not determine how pensions are funded, this number is an important piece of the state’s overall fiscal health.
Aggregate funded ratio of pension liabilities. This shows the aggregate percentage at which the State’s five pension systems are funded as of the end of the most recent fiscal year.
The bill backlog and bill payment cycle numbers will be updated weekly. The Rainy Day Fund numbers will be updated monthly. The pension numbers will be included in the weekly graphic and updated on an annual basis, based on the release of government reports. Anyone can keep up to date with the numbers by checking the Comptroller’s social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter. Further information is available at illinoiscomptroller.gov.
“Transparency breeds accountability. That is why it’s important to consistently keep these numbers in the public eye,” said Comptroller Mendoza.