The $50 Billion Illinois Favor Factory Hums Along

I won’t stop asking it until conservatives starting fighting the information war — in Illinois too. Asking what? How the hell are we losing this? Here is Adam Andrzejewski writing at Forbes:

It’s been two years since Illinois state government had a full-year budget. Now, more than 70,000 vendors are owed $8.2 billion. Yet, despite the legislative deadlock and seemingly fiscal insolvency, more than $50 billion in state payments flowed to providers and other entities in FY2016.

So, who actually got paid and for how much while others waited in the long line of unpaid bills?

Recently, our organization at American Transparency (website: filed our annual Freedom of Information Act request with Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger (R) for the state’s checkbook payments. Here’s what we found: 56,738 recipients received fast-tracked payments of $50,125,427,171.

We plotted the recipients by ZIP code – review your neighborhood or look across the entire country. Just zoom-in, click a ZIP code pin, and scroll down to see the results rendered in the chart below the map.

The top 25 accounts paid by the Comptroller received $21.8 billion. The vast majority of the payments were for social safety-net healthcare providers ($5.9 billion); the Teachers Retirement System pension payment ($3.224 billion); Cook County ($2.7 billion); Chicago Board of Education ($2.1 billion); Regional Transportation Authority ($1.7 billion); and transfer payments to the state treasurer or banks.

Here are some of the entities receiving the large state payments in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016:

  • Road contractors and construction companies ($1.4 billion) – 45 companies received more than $1 million. Here’s the top five: Plote Construction Inc. ($300.4 million); Lorig Construction Company ($225.4 million); Walsh Construction Co. ($151.9 million); D Construction Inc. ($147.5 million); and E T Simonds Construction Co. ($61.98 million).
  • Cities and Villages ($6 billion) – Chicago received $1.7 billion. But even the uber-wealthy North Shore communities received tens of millions of dollars:  Highland Park ($20.4 million); Wilmette ($9.3 million); Glencoe ($3.4 million); Lake Forest ($7.2 million); and Kenilworth ($421,200). My hometown of Hinsdale in DuPage County received $7.5 million.

Read more: Forbes

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