Chicago Sun Times and SJR Editorials Support McSweeney Effort to Estimate Late Payment Interest Penalties

Chicago Sun Times Editorial Board:
If Illinois’ government is going to keep burning money in a garbage can, as one lawmaker puts it, it should at least keep track of how much that’s costing us.

The wasted money — literally over a billion dollars — is cash the state shells out for high interest on overdue bills. Keeping track of that utterly wasted money is the idea behind a House bill that passed unanimously Monday. The bill would require future governors to stop ignoring how much late-payment interest is costing the state each year when they submit their annual proposed budgets.

This is a bill that absolutely should become law.

State Journal-Register Editorial Board:
The House has already taken steps to address this issue by approving House Bill 5814, which if signed into law would require governors to identify and account for the cost of late payment interest penalties in their budget proposals. The idea behind requiring the governor to start with it, according to Mendoza’s office, is that the budget starts with the governor and if it’s included in the first step, legislators can be pressured into following suit.

This shouldn’t be a partisan matter. We are encouraged that the House vote of 101-0 indicates that chamber did not see it as such. It was sponsored by Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, in the House and Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, in the Senate, which gives us hope that legislators can agree on common sense, good-government measures regardless of what letter follows their name.


Better budgeting practices can only help the future. But we can learn from the mistakes of the past. We look forward to this becoming law — and soon.

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