April 29, 2010
I write today to apprise you of the current status of state payments. Unfortunately, there is no change for the better. The State of Illinois is still in dire financial condition, and the date upon which your Fiscal Year 2010 grants will be paid remains uncertain.
I have heard from many of you that this delay and uncertainty is impacting your organization's ability to function. The role you serve in the provision of the arts to the citizens of our state is quite simply essential and we deeply regret the serious problems these delays are causing you. However, the issuance of payments for the vouchers submitted is not subject to the Illinois Arts Council's control. Payment is the purview of the state Office of the Comptroller, which can only pay bills for which it has funds.
At this time, payment delays are exceeding six months. This quote from a recent Chicago Sun-Times
article comments on the status of payments ("City's stage scene is in a bind
," April 25, 2010):
"As of April 21, the backlog of payments to all programs receiving state funding totaled $4.6 billion. Carol Knowles, press secretary for the comptroller, said the office was federally mandated to make Medicaid payments to doctors, hospitals and nursing homes within 30 days. General state aid to schools and state payroll is also given priority. Knowles would not comment on when the 2010 arts grants would be paid. She further acknowledged that the backlog of state bills was 'at a historic level.'"
We will continue to keep you updated on any further developments regarding payments. If you would like more detailed information about the State of Illinois' cash flow position, this is a link to the latest Illinois Comptroller's Quarterly report: http://www.apps.ioc.state.il.us/ioc-pdf/CQ_35.pdf
Again, our thanks for you continued hard work to provide quality arts programming and art work throughout the state of Illinois. And our most sincere apologies for the hardships these historic delays in payment are causing.