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.