Topinka pledges to pay bills; late payments at $4.4 billion

Topinka pledges to pay bills; late payments at $4.4 billion

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has directed her staff to prioritize payments for programs serving the developmentally disabled.

Topinka moved swiftly after the state Department of Human Services notified providers of day programs, group homes, community living programs and other programs serving the developmentally disabled that the current fiscal year ending June 30 was lacking sufficient funding to pay them for one month of services they provided.

Service agencies were also warned they would be subjected to ongoing delays at the comptroller's office after the new budget is processed after July 1. Topinka said her office will begin making payments to providers immediately when the new fiscal year begins.

"Those serving the developmentally disabled should know that we will make their payments as soon as the information reaches our door," she said in a written statement.

While she plans to prioritize bills to developmental disability service providers, Topinka also warned there are now 164,000 unpaid bills at her office totaling $4.4 billion. Awaiting payment are businesses, schools, hospitals and services agencies.

The unpaid backlog will reach about $8.5 billion when additional bills at state agencies, including $1.5 billion in past-due Medicaid payments, are added to the stack, she said.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on June 20, 2012 at 9:06 am

Dear Judy is a career politician.  Amazingly; she is the state comptroller, and the appointed head of the State Employees Retirement system.  We did not vote for her.  We got her appointed to us.  Now, she promises who will get paid first.  It is right that services to the Disabled gets paid.  However, Judy does the picking based on public opinion.  She is a politician after all.  Imagine all of the vendors owed money courting her favor.  Remember her dancing with George Ryan?  Remember that she is a career Illinois politician.  Better send her a Christmas card this year; and get ready for the Friends of Judy Barr Topinka to contact you.