Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is pushing back against accusations that she has withheld money schools need to open.
It comes as Education Secretary Beth Purvis appeared on Chicago radio station WGN to echo demands made by her boss, Gov. Bruce Rauner. He wants Democrats to allow their school funding bill to be partially vetoed.
While on the program, Purvis also criticized Mendoza, a Democrat, for failure to send two quarterly reimbursements for transportation and special education costs to schools. Mendoza says there's no money for that at the moment. "You know, we only have $254 million," she said."And it's true — there are over $800 million still pending in categorical payments. But without the money in the account, it would be the equivalent of writing a bounced check. And the governor and his education secretary know that. They're just trying to misinform the public as to what the truth is." Mendoza also said she has to pay the state's overdue Medicaid bills first. She blamed Gov. Rauner for allowing the state's backlog of bills to grow during the two-year budget impasse.