August 18, 2017
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois House of Representatives,
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto House Bill 3649, which requires state agencies to report every month to the Comptroller on their current liabilities, interest, and the appropriations status of those liabilities.
The inclination to provide more transparency about the state of our finances is a good one. Unfortunately, this legislation more closely resembles an attempt by the Comptroller to micromanage executive agencies than an attempt to get the information most helpful to the monitoring of state government.
State agencies currently report annually on their liabilities and interest, and this dramatically increased reporting requirement will be both time-consuming and will yield decreasing marginal information. This legislation neglects to account for the realities of agency record-keeping and reporting, which makes compliance with this mandate especially difficult and expensive. Due to asymmetries in technology and variances in the input and calculation of the required information, this bill will be highly burdensome for agencies and will require an allocation of significant additional resources to reporting compliance.
Our state agencies should always be striving toward sound fiscal management and maximum transparency. However, due to factors unaccounted for by this legislation like lagging technology and variances in the input and calculation of the required information, the primary effect of this mandate will be to divert limited funds and staff attention from their core functions in providing services to the citizens of Illinois.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 3649, entitled “AN ACT concerning finance”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.