CHICAGO (CBS) — State Comptroller Susan Mendoza criticized Gov. Bruce Rauner at a senior citizen apartment complex for not completing a budget deal so the state can legally pay bills.
WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya reports.
At the West Point Senior Plaza on the Near West Side, Mendoza claimed she recently paid $94 million in Medicaid payments. She also said the state still has a backlog of bills around $12.5 billion, and that the Illinois governor is lying about the budget. She pointed to his new TV campaign commercial where he allegedly claims to have a balanced one.
“The last time I heard somebody be able to lie that easily was when I worked with Governor Blagojevich, and it didn’t work out too well for him,” said Mendoza.
Mendoza said Rauner’s proposal is $700 billion out of balance and that the constitution requires him to propose a level budget.
“I’m not critiquing the governor because he’s a Republican. I’m critiquing the governor because he’s the worst governor that’s ever served in the state,” she said.
Former state comptroller, now Deputy Governor Leslie Munger said Republicans and Democrats in the legislature must work with the governor to balance the budget. She also blamed Mendoza for voting for unbalanced budgets for years while serving on the Illinois Legislature.
“A lot of the actions she’s taking that are making it harder for human services to stay open certainly causes more of a crisis in the government, and a crisis makes it look bad for the governor,” Munger said.
The backlog of state payments is seriously affecting companies, which Frankie Reddit, President and CEO of Ashley’s Quality Care knows firsthand. Her company provides home care services for seniors and has not been able to pay workers in months. Staff still come to work and a couple of them are close to losing homes.
“Our doors are about to shut. I can no longer keep these people or compel them to come to work. How can I do it? How can you compel people to come to work when you can’t even pay them,” said Redditt.
Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin emphasized it’s not the governor’s job alone to pass a budget.
“They’ve got to find the balance that’s going to earn the governor’s signature. And I think we all know what it means…it’s going to be some reforms, it’s going to be cuts and there’s going to be the ultimate revenue issue,” he said.