Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza [City Club of Chicago]

Comptroller Susana Mendoza stayed out of sight this spring after finishing fifth in the race for the mayor in February. After the loss, Mendoza went back to work in Springfield, since she won a full four-year term in November — about a week before she announced her bid for mayor. During her first term as comptroller, Mendoza was a constant critic of Republican Gov, Bruce Rauner and Republicans as the state’s budget impasse wore on for two years. Since her loss in February, Mendoza says she’s been visiting safety net hospitals and healthcare providers around the state that have been impacted by high rates of denials from Medicaid Managed Care organizations — a cause Mendoza has been fighting since she entered office. At the height of the 736-day budget impasse, the state’s backlog of bills reached nearly $17 billion. As of Wednesday, that number is down to $6.15 billion — including $520 million worth of healthcare bills paid Tuesday. The Daily Line spoke with Mendoza Wednesday for a lengthy interview, part two of which will run in Friday’s newsletter.

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