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Comptroller Topinka: Bill Backlog Will Mushroom, Non-Profits Can Help

Susan Stephens

Expect the state to be nine billion dollars behind in paying its bills by the end of the year. That was the grim message State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinkahad for a gathering of not-for-profit agencies Monday at Rockford University. She’s enlisting their help to find ways to ease the financial pressure on groups that depend on state money to serve their clients. 

Topinka says she has high hopes for the state’s new not-for-profit advisory board, which launches Wednesday in Chicago. It’s made up of leaders of social service agencies from all over the state: they’ll help lawmakers identify, and hopefully resolve, some of the issues making it even more difficult for them to function.

Carol Green will be there. She’s the executive director and CEO of Lifescape Community Services, a senior services provider for the Rockford area. She says she expects the council and the Comptroller to come up with some good ideas: but there’s no permanent fix until lawmakers solve the pension crisis.

Topinka urges leaders of social service agencies to contact her office if they’re facing cuts because of late state payments: she can expedite payments to get them through a crisis. And that’s something Green says Lifescape has had to do several times over the past few years.

Green says she’slooking for more input from local not-for-profits about how they are handling the state’s late payments, challenging new mandates, or any other issues that are making it difficult to provide services to the state’s most vulnerable people. 

Here's a link to Topinka's latest report on the state's finances:http://www.ioc.state.il.us/index.cfm/resources/comptrollers-quarterly/quarterly-edition-10-july-2013-bill-backlog-dropsfor-now/

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.
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