Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
While the Governor’s push to borrow $8.77 billion to pay some of the state’s unpaid bills has stalled, he is reportedly now considering a suggestion from Treasurer Dan Rutherford for $1 billion of short-term borrowing to capture federal matching dollars.
By borrowing and then paying Medicaid bills, the federal government will match every Illinois dollar paid with another $1.18. But that rate of federal Medicaid match will drop to $1.14 in a few weeks and to just $1 for every Illinois $1 by June.
According to the Treasurer, the current rate of federal Medicaid match will more than pay the interest on the notes and leave something left to pay other bills. I believe a majority of legislators would support restructuring our debt to pay providers but not to expand programs as the Governor currently proposes. Illinois should be using banks when it needs to borrow money, not delay payments to providers and use their money to expand programs.
Remember the state owes over $93 million to schools, health and human service providers and other venders in this area alone.