MESSAGE FROM THE COMPTROLLER
As we mark one year since the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s necessary stay-at-home orders, let’s take a moment to remember the more than 20,000 Illinoisans who have died from this dreadful disease and the loved ones they left behind.
The pandemic continues to touch all parts of the Illinois economy, from revenue and expenses to unemployment and the availability of goods and services.
Although there is reason to be hopeful things will look up by the end of this year, state government must remain vigilant about its budget. Federal relief, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden, will be key to every state’s economic recovery from the pandemic, and Illinois is no exception.
I’m especially proud that the Comptroller’s Office brought the state’s backlog of unpaid bills — which reached $16.7 billion in 2017 during the two-year budget impasse — down to a new low of $3.3 billion in May. It’s the first time the state has been able to operate within a 30-day payment cycle since before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack and the resulting economic downturn.
In this issue of Fiscal Focus, we take a look at sports betting, which is generating revenue for the state despite a rocky start during the early days of the pandemic.
Also in this issue, we explore the distribution of Payroll Protection Program, or PPP, loans to small businesses throughout Illinois, as well as efforts to address food insecurity among the state’s senior population during the pandemic.
And we’ll tell you about the work of Central Counties Health Centers, a federally qualified health center based in Springfield, and how it’s coping with challenges presented by the pandemic.
Finally, we’ll describe my proposal to put an end to exit and signing bonuses for departing or newly appointed state lawmakers who, under state law, can be paid a full month’s salary for just a day or two of work that month.
I hope you find Fiscal Focus useful and informative. Your comments about this and other publications from this office are always welcome. Contact us at 800–877–8078 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers also can provide feedback throughout social media. The Illinois Office of Comptroller can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ILComptroller.
Thanks for reading,
Susana A. Mendoza
Illinois State Comptroller