Illinois Human Services Coalition Urges Governor Quinn, Treasurer Giannoulias, and Comptroller Hynes to Agree to Short-Term Borrowing to Pay State Vendors

Governor Pat Quinn

(Chicago, IL) — A coalition of almost 100 non-profit human service providers today called on Governor Pat Quinn, Comptroller Dan Hynes and Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias to work together on a mutually acceptable plan to borrow a short-term loan to enable Illinois to speed delayed payments to provider agencies.

At a press conference in Springfield, human service advocates warned that non-payment of state bills are threatening client programs and undermining agencies’ finances.

“At the moment, most human service providers have been waiting since August to be paid—that’s more than four months,” said Don Moss, Coordinator of the Illinois Human Services Coalition.

“Without payments, agencies, which serve senior citizens, individuals recovering from mental illness, at-risk teenagers, will soon exhaust lines of credit from local banks to pay their employees.”

Illinois now owes approximately $4.5 billion to all state vendors, and, in some cases, the payment cycle extends six months.

“There is no sign that legislature will raise meaningful new revenue in the immediate future to pay the state’s unpaid bills,” said Marge Berglind, President & CEO of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “Without a short-term loan, payment delays will grow even further, guaranteeing the collapse of programs and agencies in Illinois.”

Agencies represented by the Child Care Association are alone owed approximately $23,545,000 from assorted state departments, Berglind noted.

“They are running on fumes,” Berglind said.

  • Specifically, for example, the state of Illinois owes $1.1 million to the Children’s Home Association of Illinois in Peoria, which cares for children with mental health needs and youth with delinquency support needs throughout Central Illinois. The state has failed to pay most bills since the beginning of July.
  • The states also owes $743,00 to Kids Hope United in Springfield and Chicago, which provides youth services and family supports to young mothers at risk of child abuse and neglect statewide. Again, the state has failed to pay most bills since July.

Since July, Illinois has borrowed $2.25 billion in short-term loans that must be repaid by June 30, 2010. Governor Quinn  has been seeking a third loan for $500 million that could draw in federal government matching Medicaid money.

“The Illinois Human Services Coalition strongly encourages Governor Quinn, Treasurer Giannoulias and Comptroller Hynes to craft a workable and mutually acceptable short-term borrowing plan that will enable the state to help pay bills to financially stretched human service providers,” said Moss.

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