Pursuant to authorization granted by the General Assembly under Public Act 100-0023, the State of Illinois issued $6 billion in General Obligation bonds in October 2017 for the purpose of paying vouchers incurred by the state prior to July 1, 2017. The law created the Income Tax Bond Fund, in which bond proceeds were deposited prior to disbursement. The tracking of the state's bill backlog beginning with the first payments made with bond fund proceeds and resulting federal reimbursements is the Backlog Voucher Report (BVR).
On November 8, 2017, the Office of the Comptroller received nearly $6.5 billion in proceeds from the state's October General Obligation bond sale. State law required the bond proceeds to pay only vouchers incurred by the state prior to July 1, 2017, to help reduce the state's unpaid bill backlog, which neared $16.7 billion the morning of November 8.
Bond proceeds were directed primarily to unpaid state health insurance claims and unpaid medical bills, which generated additional dollars through federal reimbursements to pay down even more unpaid bills and lower the backlog further.
Below you can see the amount of fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018 medical bills and unpaid state health insurance claims at the Office of the Comptroller prior to the release of bond proceeds, and how the Office of the Comptroller used bond proceeds to cut the backlog of these bills. This chart reflects the period of when bond proceeds were received November 8 until the last bond-related federal reimbursement for medical payments was received November 27.
How Your Money is Being Spent
2017 Bill Backlog Bond Proceeds Summary
On the morning of November 8, 2017, worsened by an impasse that left the state without a complete budget for two years, Illinois’ unpaid bill backlog stood at a record $16.7 billion.
The same morning, the state received nearly $6.5 billion in proceeds from an October issuance of General Obligation bonds to pay down a significant portion of the backlog.
The Office of the Comptroller worked aggressively to pay bills resulting in federal reimbursements, and bills related to employee insurance – many of which had been unpaid for two years. In just three weeks, the Office of the Comptroller cut the State’s unpaid bill backlog almost in half.
Office of the Comptroller’s Backlog Reduction Action
November 8, 2017 to November 27, 2017
- More than $4.6 billion in medical bills paid
- More than $4 billion in bills related to employee insurance paid
- More than $2.2 billion in federal reimbursements received for the payment of medical bills
- Nearly 73,000 vouchers for payment released
Fiscal impact of nearly $6.5 billion in bond proceeds: $8.8 billion in bills paid in only three weeks.
For more information on how your money was spent, click here.