The lasting budget impasse, caused by legislative Democrats’ resistance to Republican-led reforms, is impacting Illinois in many ways: from social services to the business climate; to concern about state credit; to further blemishes on the state’s reputation.
But at least one group of Democrat insiders is cashing in. A report from the Chicago Sun Times shows a company called the Vender Assistance Program (VAP), owned by Brian Hynes (who once worked for House Speaker Madigan) and Democrat insider Patti Solis Doyle, has pocketed more than $22 million from the state thanks to a special agreement on the collection of late fees.
In short, when the state is late in paying a vendor by more than 90 days, it owes an interest rate of 1% per month on top of the owed amount.
The Vendor Assistance Program, started under then-Governor Pat Quinn, uses financing agreements to pay the vendor 90% of their owed claim, as a “sale” of the unpaid bill. When the state makes good on that bill, the VAP gives the vendor the remaining 10 percent, and keeps the late fees for itself.
So far, the Vender Assistance Program has received $22.3 million in late fees, according to the report.
Illinois currently has more $6.4 billion in unpaid bills.