Topinka: Ill. Agencies Face $1 Billion Shortfall


Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says Illinois is running out of money for child welfare, workers' compensation and services for seniors and the disabled.

Topinka is the state's chief fiscal officer. In a statement Monday, she says state agencies need about $1 billion to carry them through the end of the fiscal year in June.

A Republican, Topinka says lawmakers need to "end the denial'' and deal with the crisis before it jeopardizes critical services residents need. She's urging them to transfer money from more financially sound programs.

Topinka says with budget cuts likely on the way, state agencies can help themselves by saving money.

“I’m not being charitable or nice to these folks, I realize that," she said.  "But we’re saying ‘you know it’s coming, so just do it right out of the box and take the hit and put that money aside.”

Last year more than 40,000 child care providers were notified they wouldn't get state funding for three months because the child care fund had run out of cash.

Legislators later moved $73.6 million from other parts of the budget to supplement the fund. 

<em>(With additional reporting from Illinois Public Radio)</em>

Story source: AP