Welcome Meg Cooch as she becomes the next Executive Director of The Arc of Illinois today. I will assume the new role of Senior Adviser. Beyond assisting Meg on the transition to The Arc, I will continue to communicate to you for the next week.
In addition to Meg’s transition, we have quite a busy week at The Arc which will see The Arc’s Annual Leadership Conference beginning on Thursday. The Ligas Court Monitor Ronnie Cohn will make her first public comments on her 5th Annual Report to the Court. In that report, the Monitor once again found the State in noncompliance and raised serious issues on the quality of community services. The conference also features Secretary Dimas, Director Fenton, Director Mercer-Schleider and many more. See you soon!
As the budget impasse continues the Comptroller says penalties may cost Illinois $700 million as unpaid bills could reach $15 billion by July.
See story from Chicago Tribune below.
by Monique Garcia
The enormous cost of Illinois’ record-breaking political impasse is hard to quantify.
There are intangible costs. Enrollment at public universities has dropped as students look for stability out of state, some women can’t be tested for cancer until they’re showing symptoms and thousands of people have lost mental health services, drug treatment and child care.
Then there are the financial costs. The state has a record stack of unpaid bills that’s expected to hit $15 billion by July if nothing is done, and it must fork over interest when it’s late paying them. Putting a hard dollar figure on those interest costs is difficult, however.
A bipartisan budget-forecasting group says the state owes at least $370 million alone in interest on bills for state employee health care during the 18-month stalemate. The Democratic comptroller’s office estimates the state will have to pay $700 million on interest based on what it’s spending in the current budget year, a number more than twice the state’s previous high water mark. The Republican governor’s budget office declined to provide any estimate, saying it “cannot speculate” on future costs.
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423