Update from Susana Mendoza
Illinois Comptroller, @susanamendoza10
One year ago, I was proud to be elected and sworn in as Illinois Comptroller. Since that time, I am proud of the long list of accomplishments that our office has been able to achieve. Democrats should be proud as well as we prepare to take the fight to Governor Rauner.
Earlier this month, members of the Illinois House and Senate voted a combined 164-3 to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act. The bipartisan legislation, which I helped introduce in January, will require all state agencies to disclose on a monthly basis all bills being held by their office. Previously, agencies were required to disclose these numbers just once a year. The law, which was supported unanimously in the Illinois House, will provide unprecedented transparency and assist with long-term financial planning. State agencies, which hold as much as half of the massive $17.5 billion bill backlog, are required to begin sharing that information with the public beginning Jan. 1st 2018.
I have been an outspoken advocate for a short-term borrowing plan outlined in the FY2018 budget helped direct immediate relief for hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, doctors and healthcare providers and long-term relief to taxpayers. The bond deal, which swaps out interest rates of up to 12 percent for a rate of 3.5 on the state’s massive bill backlog, will save billions, according to the state’s budget office. My office is using federal matching funds to further help Illinois taxpayers.
Beginning in December, I have spent thousands of miles on Illinois highways and byways, as I tirelessly travel the state to highlight the human cost of the unprecedented two-year budget stalemate that ended in July.
My candid discussions with legislators from both parties about the fiscal crisis in early July helped lead to a common-sense bipartisan budget solution.
I helped bring attention to the lack of transparency under the Rauner Administration for the largest procurement in the history of the state, a $36 billion overhaul of a state program that provides healthcare to over 2.5 million people. The bidding process was completed with no independent oversight and outside the purview of the legislature and general public.
I have sought public disclosure of the true cost of Rauner’s failed Enterprise Resource Program, a $300 million technology initiative that has failed to meet critical benchmarks and eliminate legacy applications.
It is important to know what elected Democrats have been doing on your behalf. I hope that when you are out knocking on doors and talking with your friends, that you’ll share some of these accomplishments. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Illinois Comptroller.