Annual report: Illinois cuts deficit in half in fiscal year 2018

SPRINGFIELD (WREX) — Illinois has cut its deficit in half, according to a financial report.

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report released Thursday shows Illinois cut its general funds deficit by $6.849 billion — from a deficit of $14.612 billion in fiscal year 2017 to a deficitof $7.763 billion in fiscal year 2018. Comptroller Susana Mendoza credits the debt slashing to a refinancing of state debt from high-interest to low-interest payment.

The state’s total assets were approximately $53.9 billion on June 30, 2018, a decrease of $400 million from June 30, 2017. The state’s total liabilities were approximately $248.1 billion on June 30, 2018, an increase of $33.3 billion from June 30, 2017. The state’s largest liability balances are the net pension liability of $133.6 billion and the other post-employment benefits liability of $55.2 billion.

Health and social services expenditures of $29.2 billion comprised the largest expenditure for fiscal year 2018, decreasing by $1 billion from fiscal year 2017. The second-largest expenditures, education expenditures, including spending for elementary and secondary education as well as higher education, totaled $25.4 billion, an increase of $3 billion, or 14%, from fiscal year 2017.

The Illinois Office of Comptroller compiles the CAFR reports from state agency submissions, which are required to be audited by the Auditor General’s Office. Since December 2018, the Office of Comptroller has been ready to publish the CAFR but it experienced a delay in the completion of remaining audits.

A primary reason for the delay, according to Mendoza, was the need for new administration to try and piece together data lost by an IT vendor working for the Rauner administration’s departments of Healthcare and Family Services and Human Services.

As the Illinois Office of Comptroller noted in a June 28, 2018, report, four months’ worth of long-term care eligibility findings in 2017 were missing.

“We should not expect outside consultants to perform critical government functions, especially regarding data involving eligibility determinations under the state’s Medicaid program serving  the state’s most vulnerable citizens, without adequate controls to protect the state’s program and ultimately state taxpayers,” Comptroller Mendoza said.
Breane Lyga

Breane Lyga

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