Having just read the DHS Memo FY 12 Payment Deferrals, I see that the payment cycle is about to implode once again!There is a solution for our payment delays and it is to borrow money to pay off the back payments due to community providers. The Governor has pushed this proposal with the Legislative Leaders but we continue to be caught up in partisan politics on further borrowing. In my discussions with the Legislative Leaders and their staff I have advocated for reduced borrowing just to pay off human services providers. No luck!

Good to see Comptroller Topinka is on our side.


Topinka to give developmentally disabled priority for state payments

Posted Jun 19, 2012 @ 11:00 PM
Last update Jun 20, 2012 @ 06:03 AM

Money to pay organizations that provide services to the developmentally disabled has run out for this budget year and Illinois state government won’t resume payments until a new budget is in place.

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka immediately said her office will expedite payments to day programs, child group homes and others affected by the shortfall after July 1, when the state’s new budget takes effect and payments can resume.

In a letter sent Monday to organizations that provide services to the developmentally disabled, the Department of Human Services said the current state budget “does not include sufficient funding to support all services to the developmentally disabled for all of fiscal year 2012.”

The letter, from Kevin Casey, director of the division of developmental disabilities at DHS, said about a one-month shortfall exists for day programs, child group homes, community living facilities, therapies, equipment, training and individual support services training.

“For those services provided prior to June 30, 2012 that cannot be paid, these services will be deferred and paid from the Fiscal Year 2013 budget,” Casey wrote.

Casey warned that the payments “will still be subject to ongoing delays at the comptroller’s office based on the receipt of state revenues.”

Topinka, however, said her office will give priority to paying bills for day programs, child group homes, community living facilities and other programs for the developmentally disabled. Payments will be made as soon as DHS forwards bills to her office for payment after July 1, she said.

“Those serving the developmentally disabled should know that we will make their payments as soon as the information reaches our door,” Topinka said. “People literally rely on these programs for survival, and they will take priority.”

Topinka said her office had more than 164,000 bills totaling $4.4 billion waiting to be paid on Tuesday. She estimated additional bills still sitting in state agencies will push the total backlog to $8.5 billion.

Even before Topinka’s announcement, agencies dealing with the developmentally disabled – accustomed to chronic late payments from the state – were taking the new information in stride.

“State payment delays are a fact of life for all of us in human services,” Clint Paul, interim president and CEO of the Springfield-based Hope Institute, said in a statement. “We have been very conservative in managing Hope’s resources with an eye toward minimizing the impact of the state’s financial crisis. To a large extent, those efforts have been successful so far.”

Brenda Yarnell, president and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln, said the agency is tapping into a line of credit at its bank.

“I think if the letter had said we can’t pay until January, we’d be in trouble,” Yarnell said. “Honestly, I’m thankful we didn’t get the letter in May or April. I was expecting something of this nature maybe even earlier. We can survive on this short-term delay.”

Doug Finke can be reached at 788-1527. 


Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)