Harris introduces resolution calling for state to pay old bills


State Representative David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) today introduced House Resolution 1078. HR 1078 calls for the use of all revenue above that budgeted for the current Fiscal Year to be used to pay old bills.

Recently the Commission on Government Finance and Accountability estimated that State of Illinois revenue for FY’14 would be $36.661 billion. That figure is roughly $1.21 billion higher than the $35.446 billion on which the FY’14 budget was built. FY’14 ends on 30 June so departments and agencies have gotten through the fiscal year on the enacted budget.

“Using all of the $1.21 billion to pay old bills would significantly reduce the backlog of unpaid bills that has been plaguing the State of Illinois for many years,” said Harris. “Depending on which estimate of old bills one uses, the reduction could be anywhere from 20% to 25%.”

In some previous years, the House resolution that sets the revenue estimate on which the year’s budget is built called for all revenue above the budgeted amount to be used for payment of old bills. HR 389, which set the revenue estimate for FY’14, did not contain the “old bill”language. House Resolution 1078 would correct that.

“$1.2 billion is a substantial amount of revenue,” added Harris, “and to use all the revenue for payment of old bills would greatly improve the State’s financial condition. I am convinced that the credit rating agencies would view such a major reduction in our old bill backlog very favorably. Further, just like families and individuals have to pay the debts they accumulate, the State must pay its accumulated debt, and this $1.2 billion allows us to do that in a big way.”

House Resolution 1078 already has 8 co-sponsors, and Harris expects the list to grow.
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