Your Illinois Comptroller

Accomplishments as Your Illinois Comptroller

Susana A. Mendoza was sworn in as the State of Illinois’ 10th Comptroller on December 5, 2016.

Before we get into accomplishments…

What is a Comptroller for the State of Illinois?

In general, the Office of the Illinois Comptroller pays the State’s bills and monitors State funds.

By law, the Illinois Comptroller is the state’s Chief Fiscal Control Officer, responsible for the legal, efficient, and effective operations of state government. The Comptroller’s duties are described in Section 17 of Article V of the Illinois Constitution.

The Comptroller, in accordance with law, shall maintain the State’s central fiscal accounts, and order payments into and out of the funds held by the Treasurer.

In Susana’s own words…

The Comptroller is the Chief Fiscal and Accountability Officer for the State of Illinois. The Office is responsible for managing the State’s financial accounts as well as providing the public and the State’s elected leadership with objective and timely data concerning the State’s difficult fiscal condition.

In two years, Susana’s top accomplishments as your Illinois Comptroller

1) Passed historic transparency reforms with Debt Transparency & Truth in Hiring Acts

Comptroller Mendoza advocated tirelessly to override Governor’s Rauner’s mind-boggling veto of her Debt Transparency Act, the most significant reform bill in the history of the Comptroller’s Office. The Governor’s veto was overturned with an unprecedented 112-0 vote in the State House of Representatives and became law on January 1, 2018. She built upon the success of the DTA with the Truth in Hiring Act, which recently passed both chambers with veto-proof majorities and awaits action by the Governor.

2) Cut the State’s backlog of unpaid bills in half

Comptroller Mendoza led the charge to bring pressure on the Governor to refinance a large portion of the State’s unpaid bill backlog. Instead of paying 12 percent interest on most of that debt, the State will pay only 3.5 percent, in turn saving taxpayers a net $4 to $6 billion over the life of the bond deal, and freeing up the bond funds to pay social service providers, schools, and State vendors who had been waiting up to two years for payment.

Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza
3) Fought to finally pass a State budget

In appearances before legislators and a Facebook video that went viral, Comptroller Mendoza spelled out the dire consequences of not overriding the Governor to pass a budget after two years without one. The bipartisan override took place a week later.

4) Pushed employee bonuses to the back of the line

On her first day in office and in the midst of a fiscal crisis, Comptroller Mendoza instructed her staff to put State employee bonuses at the back of the line, in order to prioritize social services, education, and public safety. Her predecessor had stated it could not be done.

5) Cut her own budget to lead by example

Comptroller Mendoza made the lowest request for a General Revenue Fund appropriation level for the Illinois State Comptroller’s Office in 20 years.

6) Prioritized education and social services funding

Comptroller Mendoza expedited payments to those struggling most during the budget impasse. She sent more categorical payments to State schools in one year than any Comptroller in State history and prioritized payments to social service providers, including those offering hospice care and care for seniors, that had languished under the prior administration.

Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza
7) Uncovered fraud and froze irresponsible State spending

Comptroller Mendoza and her staff blew the whistle on alleged fraud in local government reporting, resulting in felony forgery charges against the village clerk of Royal Lakes, IL. The Comptroller halted $27 million in payments to high-paid consultants, initiated audits of questionable lease arrangements, sounded the alarm on wasteful project cost overruns, and raised the red flag on a behind-the-scenes consolidation of the managed care organizations proceeding outside the standard procurement code.

8) Reached across the aisle

As she did during her days in the legislature, Comptroller Mendoza forged alliances with legislators of both parties, helping struggling businesses and non-profits in red and blue districts across Illinois. She persuaded every Republican and Democrat in the State house and all but three in the State senate to vote with her to override the Governor on her Debt Transparency Act.

9) Recovered millions for local governments around Illinois

Her office assisted in recovering more than $36.5 million in outstanding debt for more than 400 local governments around Illinois.

10) Visited all of Illinois’ 102 counties

In her first two years in office, Comptroller Mendoza made it a point to understand the needs and concerns of Illinoisans by visiting all 102 counties in Illinois. She met with social service providers, toured schools and universities, and visited business owners and business groups across the State.

Accomplishment Susana A. Mendoza

Susana A. Mendoza