Comptroller Susana Mendoza

Victoria Lunacek

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate J.B. Pritzker stopped in DeKalb on Sunday to rally support from local Democrats. He also unveiled a new campaign office. He says the goal is to further expand campaign efforts beyond Chicago and the collar counties.  Pritzker also framed his campaign as a challenge to Washington.

"I decided to run for governor because everything we care about, and I really mean everything, is under siege right now by a racist misogynist in Washington, and his local silent partner Governor Bruce Rauner," he said.

The Republican candidates for state comptroller and treasurer are calling on Illinois lawmakers to pass legislation that would consolidate the two offices they’re running for.

Comptroller candidate Darlene Senger and treasurer candidate Jim Dodge made the announcement during a news conference Tuesday in Rockford.

Both say the move would improve transparency and efficiency. Senger says it also would save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Illinois has racked up more in late-payment fees in less than three years than it did in the 18 years combined, according to a report The Associated Press obtained Monday, and some major creditors say they've waited more than a year to receive the interest they're owed.

The report by state Comptroller Susana Mendoza found that the $16 billion in past-due debt that piled up during a two-year budget stalemate comes with a steep price. Since July 2015, Mendoza reported, prompt-payment penalties have totaled $1.14 billion, $100 million more than the total from 1998 up to then.

File Photo by Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Illinois state Comptroller Susana Mendoza wants to force governors to pay employees from their budgets instead of "off-shoring" them to other agencies.

The Democrat said Thursday that her legislation would end the practice by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and future executives of "hiding" employees on agency payrolls.

Past governors have done the same. Mendoza contends Rauner's official budget is $5 million and lists 44 employees. But with staff paid from other agencies, the number is $10.4 million and 102 staffers.

The Illinois General Assembly recently overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto on the Debt Transparency Act.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza was a major sponsor of the measure and has been hard at work paying down state debts. She said the biggest change the act makes is requiring state agencies to report their debts to her once a month, rather than once a year.

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Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza endorsed gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker in the Democratic primary.  

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner put his signature today on a bill that redefines how Illinois public schools are funded. But it also will send overdue money to schools starting up the academic year.

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Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza said it's likely she will have to skip another payment to the state’s public school districts as the result of a political fight between Democrats in the legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Mendoza said schools are expecting another payment from the state on Sunday.

"Every single child across the state of Illinois is being attacked right now because of nonsensical politics at play from Governor Rauner," Mendoza said.

Schools are not receiving state money while elected officials debate how best to distribute state money.

File Photo by Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to step up the pace in dealing with the state’s debt.

She’s urging him to borrow money — authorized by the new budget — in order to begin paying off more than $14 billion dollars in overdue bills.

"You should know that this debt is costing you, the taxpayer, $2 million a day, at up to 12 percent interest in late-payment interest penalties," Mendoza said Monday in a video posted online.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to take a more active role in paying down the state’s unpaid bills.

Illinois's new budget authorizes the state to issue bonds to begin paying down its debts, but that process has to start with Rauner’s budget office.

Mendoza, a Democrat, basically said the Republican administration is dragging its feet.

“Every day that goes by without the capital from the new bonds being issued is costing taxpayers an additional $2 million a day," she said.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is pushing back against accusations that she has withheld money schools need to open.

It comes as Education Secretary Beth Purvis appeared on Chicago radio station WGN to echo demands made by her boss, Gov. Bruce Rauner. He wants Democrats to allow their school funding bill to be partially vetoed. 

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Illinois is nearing the start of a third fiscal year without a budget. This has resulted in a backlog of unpaid bills, and unfavorable judgment by credit agencies.

 

As of last week, the state owes an outstanding $14.5 billion, and only $18 million is available to make payments.  State Comptroller Susana Mendoza said a court case asking healthcare organizations to be paid first may push the state to the breaking point.  

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A court hearing scheduled Tuesday has the potential to shake up the precarious financial situation in Illinois. Organizations that run the state’s Medicaid program want a federal judge to speed up their payments.

The state already owes money to  a variety of organizations due to the budget impasse, but Medicaid providers want a federal judge to put them at the front of the line. Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Illinois already spends heavily on Medicaid, and letting those groups cut in line means Illinois would soon run out of money.

  Last summer, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a last-minute plan to appropriate state money to public schools. It allowed districts to open on time, but the actual funds for programs such as special education and busing have been slow in coming.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza is in charge of disbursing the money but says she can't due to lack of cash on hand.

“As of today," she said, "I think our actual cash flow -- our available balance -- might be actually 159 million dollars."

Increased revenues coming in to state coffers during tax season have allowed the Illinois Comptroller to release more than $800 million in payments for health care services.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Wednesday that the money will go to nearly a dozen managed-care operations in Illinois serving Medicaid patients, according to the State Journal-Register.  Those organizations can use the money to pay doctors, hospitals and mental-health counselors.

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Some Illinois lawmakers who had their paychecks delayed by 9 months are expressing relief they’ll finally get their salaries.

There was a popular slogan during last year’s campaign for Comptroller.

No budget, no pay.

The former Republican comptroller said with no budget, lawmakers’ paychecks will be delayed - just like payments for other critical government services.

WELCH: This was pure coercion, plain and simple.

State Representative Chris Welch and 5 other Democrats sued and won Thursday.

A feud between Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Comptroller Susana Mendoza is escalating over spending priorities during the state's unprecedented budget standoff.

Mendoza is a Democrat in charge of paying Illinois' bills. She used a City Club of Chicago speech Monday to accuse Rauner of being a ``terrible governor'' and paying consultants from a health care fund, among other things.  

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's office has filed paperwork to ensure a new deputy governor isn't paid from an insurance fund that is $4 billion behind on medical payments.

And Rauner is accusing Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza of leaking what he calls "a false story" about his administration.

“The fact that this is even a topic just shows the political spin that’s going on with the comptroller’s office. Mendoza has been on a mission to create a crisis -- we’ve stopped her on most of her instances so far,” Rauner said.

Governor Bruce Rauner says three of Illinois’ leading Democrats are conspiring to shut down state government.

Rauner made the accusation Wednesday in response to legal disagreements he’s had with Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

RAUNER: “Comptroller Mendoza takes her orders from Speaker Madigan, and they are working together to create a crisis and shut down the government.”

MENDOZA: “For the record: The only person who tells me what to do is my mother.”