Illinois Arts Council now 73% sure they can pay out their grant awards

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Remember those Illinois Arts Council grants that kind of sort of might be paid, just as long as you wait a little bit and let me hit up my man Lenny for that $100 he owes me? Well, now the award recipients have "positive assurances" from the state comptroller and budget director. Guess that's a step up. Here is the latest letter from IAC chair Shirley Madigan:

Dear Grantee,

On May 27th I wrote you regarding payment of FY2010 grants. In that letter, I referred to letters I had sent to Comptroller Dan Hynes and David Vaught, Director of the Governor’s Office of Management & Budget asking about the prospects for payment of FY2010 grants.   I am pleased to tell you we have received positive assurances from both Mr. Hynes and Mr. Vaught.

Below I have excerpted the salient parts of their responses:

From Comptroller Hynes:

“Any otherwise proper vouchers for FY2010 submitted by the Arts Council on or before August 31, 2010 will be considered eligible for payment as revenues permit. ……. It is our hope at present that all such FY2010 vouchers for payments will be paid as incoming revenues allow within the fiscal year lapse period.  It is anticipated at this time that the Governor will sign legislation that would extend the lapse period to December 31st, 2010.”

From Director Vaught:

“The state is committed to fulfilling obligations to individuals and organizations who were awarded grants this fiscal year.

Please be assured that all FY10 grant recipients will receive payment.  Unfortunately, payments from the Comptroller are running several months behind.  However, through the Emergency Budget Act, the voucher lapse period has been extended to December 31, thus allowing vendors, service providers and grant recipients to receive payment while avoiding the cumbersome Court of Claims process.”

These statements are indeed good news, and I am pleased to have some good news to report.  We very much appreciate the efforts of the Governor and the Comptroller to address this difficult issue.  However, I would caution that the time frame for receiving the actual payments will extend into future months.

Positive assurances that are underlined and in bold. Start building that swimming pool, Clark.