I mentioned in my last Illinois post that Illinois has been having trouble meeting its regular bills.
How far is it behind in paying? $4 billion, with a B.
International Business Machines Inc. is owed $1.1 million. Office Depot Inc. is waiting for a $660,955 check. And the 17th Street Bar & Grill in Sparta is due $340.52. They are among at least 8,000 vendors including businesses, charities and government agencies waiting months for the state to pay up. At least 114 companies are due more than $1 million, according to documents from Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.
While states periodically fall behind in paying Medicaid providers or, in the case of California, rely on bank loans and IOUs, the Illinois backlog has been growing for three years. It’s forcing some vendors to fire workers, cut services and, if they can, obtain loans and lines of credit to keep their businesses going while the state takes months to pay.
“Banks have refused us a line of credit because of the state,” said David Baker, who runs the nonprofit Open Door Rehabilitation Center in Sandwich, Illinois, and is owed $880,000. “We’ve had a long-time relationship with bankers, but now they wonder ‘What if the state never pays you?’”
These are people who are owed for current goods and services. And they are getting screwed. You think Illinois is going to pay late charges or interest owed? (This is learning the risk of having a single or a very large client…. you become beholden to them. Some do have the option of “firing” Illinois as a customer, and others really don’t. Not in the short-term.)
So, public employees — why do you expect to get paid 20 years from now?
I’m not seeing it.
Cross-posted to the Commune.