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Rauner punts on solutions again

Sen. Andy ManarSPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner today passed on signing a commonsense law that would save taxpayers millions of dollars in late payment fees because he believes it’s an attempt to “micromanage” state agencies.

It’s another example of how the governor sends mixed messages to the people of Illinois, said Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and the sponsor of House Bill 3649, the proposed Debt Transparency Act, which Rauner vetoed.

“One day Gov. Rauner rails about waste, fraud and abuse in Springfield. The next day, given an opportunity to do something about it, he punts,” Manar said. “It’s maddening.

“Illinois taxpayers shell out $2 million a day in late payment fees and interest because of the state’s bill backlog. This law simply would ask state agencies to help the comptroller manage that debt better by reporting every month on the bills they owe to vendors.”

Illinois’ bill backlog today stands at $14.7 billion.

In addition to micromanagement, Rauner’s reasons for vetoing the legislation included that it’s “time-consuming” and too burdensome because of “asymmetries in technology and variances in the input and calculation of the required information.”

Manar said transparency and accountability aren’t rocket science.

“The only asymmetry we’re dealing with is the amount of complaining versus the amount of action coming out of the governor’s office,” he added.

Rauner vetoed additional Manar-sponsored legislation on Friday, including:
• House Bill 3216, which would add scrutiny to attempts to enter into third-party contracts by the administration when the work could be done by state employees. In March, the governor attempted to outsource the jobs of 124 prison nurses to an out-of-state corporation.
• House Bill 3376, which was hoped to be a compromise to address an ongoing disagreement about overtime caps between the Rauner administration and in-home personal assistants who work with people with disabilities.