Topinka urges Congressional leaders to avoid federal shutdown

Share with:

Comptroller highlights importance of funding for state


Springfield, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Thursday sent the letter pasted below and attached to members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation. Noting the importance of federal dollars in light of the state’s precarious fiscal condition, Topinka urged lawmakers to extend budget negotiations and avoid a federal government shutdown. 


 Dear Members of the Illinois Delegation:

As the deadline for a federal budget agreement nears, I am writing to ask for your support of efforts to extend negotiations, and avoid a federal government shutdown. As you know well, Illinois uses federal funding to provide critical medical, human and education services for our state’s most vulnerable residents. Those dollars are particularly important given the state’s precarious financial situation, and our inability to cover costs in the event of a complete shutdown.

Our state receives approximately $77 million a day in federal funds for everything from Medicaid and public health payments to road and rail improvements. In fact, federal funding of the Medicaid program in Illinois alone averages more than $41 million a day. Those dollars provide a health care safety net for our residents, and ensure that those most in need receive critical medical attention. Beyond that, federal dollars today are being used to complete road and rail projects already underway and cover costs for the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The looming federal government shutdown becomes more ominous given our state’s fiscal condition. As I write to you today, our office faces a bill backlog of more than 219,000 invoices totaling more than $4.7 billion. Those bills from businesses, schools, health care and social service agencies are for services already provided to the state, and date back to October 20, 2010. There are other daunting financial realities as well, including the state’s obligation to repay more than $1.3 billion by June 14 for prior short-term borrowing.

As the state’s Chief Fiscal Officer, I have a responsibility to inform you that Illinois simply does not have the dollars on hand to “front” funding for federal initiatives pending a budget agreement in Washington D.C. I also understand what is at stake for our nation with the federal budget, and the sincere and adamant beliefs on both sides of the negotiation.

Ultimately, I believe an agreement will be reached that is in the best interest of our country – but fear it may not happen in the next 24 hours. For that reason, I respectfully ask that you extend negotiations and ensure funding can continue while an agreement is reached.


 Judy Baar Topinka

Illinois Comptroller

CC: Illinois Congressional Delegation


Share with:

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By :