State comptroller’s office ‘bombarded’ with 5,000 calls a week

SHARE State comptroller’s office ‘bombarded’ with 5,000 calls a week

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger said Wednesday that her office is being “bombarded” with about 5,000 calls a week from social service organizations wondering if and when they’ll get state funding.

Munger, talking to the City Club of Chicago, said the ongoing state budget impasse, which is creating that uncertainty, is hurting those “who can least afford it.”

Munger said social service nonprofits are vital because they offer important services at a much lower cost than the state could provide.

“How do we thank them? We ask them, essentially, to float the state,” Munger told a lunchtime gathering at Maggiano’s Little Italy. “This is really wrong, putting them in this role.”

Munger said that at the end of August the state had a $5.5 billion backlog of unpaid bills, which is likely to swell to $8.5 billion by the end of 2015.

“We are digging a hole so deep in this budget right now that if we don’t do something quickly, it’s going to be very difficult for us to get out of it,” Munger said.

Munger said her office is in “constant communication” with various nonprofits and other social service organizations.

“We are basically, in my group, doing everything we can possibly do, working as hard as we can to pay everything we can as fast as we can,” Munger said.

Munger pointed to another cost to the state for not paying bills on time: late fees.

Last year, the state amassed $50 million in such fees, she said.

“It’s a real waste of tax dollars to spend our money this way,” Munger said.

The Latest
Surprising flavor combinations — think gravy-flavored Jones Soda or Sour Patch Kids Oreos — are showing up more frequently in grocery stores and restaurant chains.
Two men were found in a soccer field suffering from gunshot wounds at La Villita Park in the 2800 block of South Sacramento Avenue.
Yellow Banana is far from living up to its vow to get rid of the food deserts in some West and South Side neighborhoods.
Farro is a hearty ancient wheat grain with a nutty, wholesome flavor.
Veteran lake swimmers offer tips and guidance on things you need to know before you jump in.